In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Brevard County Policy Group voted on Wednesday to close all public parking lots and park that give access to Brevard County beaches.
**Parking lot access to Playalinda Beach is still open
The closures will cover the 72-mile Brevard County shoreline, beginning Thursday in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The group, which is made up of commissioners, the Sheriff, some city leaders voted unanimously during a conference call.
What does this mean for beachgoers? The parking lots or parks where you would normally park and then walk to the beach will be barricaded by Friday at 8:00 a.m.
Closings begin on Thursday, with plans that all County, municipal, and Patrick Air Force Base beachside public parking access being off limits to the public by Friday morning. Spring breakers and other beachgoers are being asked to avoid beach areas as a public safety measure in response to the spread of coronavirus and in compliance with mass gathering recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has advised people to avoid mass gatherings of more than 10 people, and recommends social distancing of 6 feet.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday issued an executive order stating that beachgoers must adhere to CDC guidelines. Due to excessive crowds and large spring break gatherings, beach closings were implemented earlier this week in Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
Earlier this week, the Florida Department of Health identified the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Brevard County. This past weekend, Brevard County issued a local emergency declaration, which provides the County additional avenues to obtain protective equipment for first responders and sanitation supplies for critical public facilities; to make adjustments on employee leave policies; to tap into financial reserves to deal with potential emergencies; and to seek federal reimbursement for consequence management actions.
Beachside public parking access areas will remain closed until further notice.
The message for prevention continues to be individual responsibility, with the key focus on social distancing and avoidance of large gatherings to prevent the spread of germs. Individuals should continue to wash their hands often and thoroughly, using soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Other measures to aid in prevention include:
• Practice social distancing by keeping 6 feet between yourself and others;
• Avoid large gatherings;
• Self-isolate if you are sick; and
• Call your regular physician, local emergency room, or urgent care clinic for screening to determine whether you should be seen by medical personnel.
Brevard County residents may call 2-1-1 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. for up-to-date information regarding coronavirus.
After hours, anyone with questions should call the FDOH COVID-19 Call Center at 866-779-6121. The call center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Educational resources are available on the FDOH web site at: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-andconditions/COVID-19/covid19-toolkit.html