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The Beaches are Staying Closed Until Further Notice

From Mayor Charlie Latham:

The beaches will remain closed.

I’m proud of my colleagues, Mayors Curry, Brown, and Glasser for working so closely together during this difficult time.  First, let’s make sure everyone understands, we cannot limit beach access to beaches residents only.  We live on public beaches; that means the beaches are open to everyone or no one.

  • As elected officials and city staff, public safety is our #1 concern.
    • If we were to open the beach, we would see more people on the beach than ever before
    • We currently have enough lifeguards to staff four chairs, at the time the beach was closed, we needed 14. 
  • We do not have enough Police Officers to enforce those who ignore the social distancing and also ensure normal standards of public safety.
    • Also, while enforcing the social distancing, we’d be exposing first responders to infected people or carriers
    • Social distancing is possible during low tide. It is not possible during high tide.
  • Young and healthy people have less to worry about, but they may inadvertently carry the virus to our elderly population (9% of Jacksonville Beach residents are over 75).
  • Scientists, like Kim Prather, a leading atmospheric chemist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, suggest that the beach could be a more dangerous place to be during this pandemic. Read her thoughts in this article from the LA Times: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-02/coronavirus-ocean-swimming-surfing-safe-beaches-los-angeles

This is a global pandemic the likes that none of us has ever seen before.  We are responsible to our citizens to provide the safest environment possible, and that’s exactly what we are doing.  This decision was jointly agreed to by myself, and mayors Curry, Brown and Glasser.  We will continue to keep the beach closed until the dangerous pandemic has passed, and there is clear scientific evidence that it is safe for our citizens to return to the beach.

 

 

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