Home Parks/Nature Beaches & Parks In Florida Reopening Today

Beaches & Parks In Florida Reopening Today

by SharonKurheg

Following the president’s announcement yesterday that state governors get to decide what happens to states in terms of reopening, a Florida mayor has announced that beaches and parks in his county would reopen today.

Mayor Lenny Curry announced earlier today that beaches and parks in Duval County will reopen today at 5:00pm.


Rules for Beach Use

Restrictions for essential activities will remain in place, as defined by the Florida governor’s Executive Order. So this is what you can do:

  • Walk, bike, hike, go fishing, run, swim, take care of pets and surf
  • All activities must be done with the guidelines of social distancing

Beaches will open from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. every morning and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every evening. They’ll remain closed during all other time periods.  Swimmers and surfers would be participating in those activities at their own risk.

No sunbathing, towels, blankets, chairs, coolers, grills, etc. will be permitted on the county’s beaches during the hours they’re open.

Rules for Park Use

Parks that are owned and operated by the City of Jacksonville will resume normal hours starting at 5 p.m. Friday, April 17. However, the Executive Order that limits gatherings to fewer than 50 people, still stands (because if you have 50 people gathered together it’s not safe but if 49 are gathered, it’s safe? #rolleyes). Along with that:

  • City of Jacksonville golf courses will reopen during normal operating hours, but individuals must follow social distancing requirements
  • No overnight camping at Hanna or Huguenot parks is permitted
  • Playground amenity usage must follow social distancing requirements
  • No organized group activities are permitted – this includes picnics or gatherings, team sports, or any type of group activity
  • All park restroom facilities will remain closed
  • Pavilions and picnic areas will remain closed

Why This Is So, SO Dangerous

Do you know how many cases of coronavirus there are in Florida right now? 24,119

Know how many of those cases are in Duval County? 794. There are only 4 counties in the entire state that have more cases than that. 62 other counties have less. So it’s not as if Duval County is “low” in how many cases it has.

I understand that people have been chomping at the bit to go out. However we are nowhere near the virus being gone. We are nowhere near having a test to see if people are positive for the virus. We are nowhere near having a vaccine for this virus that is killing thousands of people every day.

The only way to ensure more people don’t get the virus is to stay away from others. To self-isolate.

IF people could go outside and stay away from others, opening the beaches could be feasible. Unfortunately, people have shown they either don’t understand or don’t care about social distancing. So you can say “stay 6 feet away from people” until you’re blue in the face, but if you allow people to go to the beach to “exercise,” they WILL stop and talk to others at close distances.

If someone has the virus and isn’t showing symptoms yet, it potentially spreads the virus from that person to those they’re physically close to. And then those who have been exposed and are going to come down with it in a few days are going to potentially spread it. Unfortunately, the people they give the virus to can be those they live with who have health problems that put them at higher risk for dying from it. People with high blood pressure. Obesity. Diabetes. Immunity problems. People receiving cancer treatment.

But playing it safe and telling people to stay home isn’t good for the economy. Our “going back to normal” is more important that our safety. So they just have to open those beaches and parks, right?

I’ll be smart and stay at home, thanks.

#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Lisa Rasmussen April 17, 2020 - 4:03 pm

So…. why don’t you stay home and hide under your bed and let other people live their lives.

SharonKurheg April 17, 2020 - 4:23 pm

I am. I am being smart and safe and not potentially, unwittingly spreading the virus, and staying home.

I’m doing this because I realize that what I do could negatively affect others, and act accordingly.

Unfortunately, some people can only think of themselves and what they want.

Christian April 17, 2020 - 5:17 pm

You should just say that you can’t stand intolerant people. Sharon is being responsible. All these selfish snowflakes who don’t care about other people as long as they get what they want are just doing society an injustice. Why do they hate America?

Ruby @ A Journey We Love April 17, 2020 - 4:30 pm

I live in Jax, but still not venturing out this weekend even though our beaches and parks are open.
Will maybe go and hike next weekend, but will see – depends on how it goes and if it’s crowded. If it’s not then I may as well venture out first thing in the morning when most people are still sleeping.

DaninMCI April 18, 2020 - 6:41 am

Playing tennis is more dangerous than going to the beach. It’s like saying I’m afraid to take a walk in the park. Sure if you are attending a sweaty punk rock concert at the local park it’s dangerous but walking alone along a beach not so much.

SharonKurheg April 18, 2020 - 10:38 am

If only people were walking alone along a beach. They’re walking but they’re not alone.



Opening a place that so many people want to go to, just because they want to, means a lot of people are going to go there. 100 people could walk or jog around their individual blocks, or they could all walk or jog at the same beach. The latter increases the chances of them being at the same place at the same time, passing in close quarters, stopping to talk to their friends, etc.

It may not be as dangerous as going to a concert, but right now, it’s more dangerous than walking around your block.

Adam Guillette April 18, 2020 - 9:41 am

I think people have forgotten that the goal of “stay at home” orders wasn’t to stop the spread of the disease. Doing so is impossible until we have either achieved herd immunity or developed a vaccine.

The goal of “stay at home” orders was to flatten the curve and ensure hospitals didn’t run out of beds or ventilators. In Jacksonville, like most places, we have NOT run out of beds. Not even close! So why prolong the economic suffering as long as possible? Why not allow us to get closer to herd immunity?

Suggesting that we all stay locked in our homes for 18 months until a vaccine is ready is not a viable solution.


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