A slew of popular Florida beaches have closed to keep away crowds of young people and seasonal visitors amid the coronavirus outbreak — but GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis defiantly says he won’t issue a statewide closure order.
Miami-Dade, Manatee, Sarasota and Okaloosa counties said Thursday they’d close their beaches, joining Naples, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach as vacationers flood into the Sunshine State, Politico reported.
DeSantis reasoned he didn’t want to divert people in coronavirus-free areas “unwittingly into activities that are going to be more dangerous for passing the virus” — or prevent anxious state residents from being able to “clear their head” with a beach visit.
“I’ve stood by every local community… [beach closure is] great if that’s good for them. But I also think we’re going to be in a situation where if people are able to go out and be spaced out — so, these are not spring [breakers]. These are our neighbors who may need to go out there, clear their head,” he said.
As for young people who just gather indoors to drink and socialize, DeSantis advised: “Some of the folks just need to be responsible and heed the advice that people are [giving].”
The governor called social distancing and other preventative measures issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Trump administration “a prudent approach.”
“You’re going to see some fatigue on this mitigation in 10 days, two weeks,” he warned.
“I mean you can mark my words on that,” he declared, Politico reported. “So, I think our policies tried to be: let’s do the social distancing in ways that will effectively halt the spread of the virus, but are also sustainable if this ends up going, you know, many weeks and many months. I hope it doesn’t. But I think we’ve got to prepare for that.”
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