Daytona Beach mayor wants beaches closed after coronavirus outbreak

County encourages all residents to adhere to the CDC guidelines

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona Beach city leaders want the city’s beaches closed as cases of the coronavirus swell in Florida.

Daytona Beach City Commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday night to encourage Gov. Ron DeSantis and Volusia County leaders to close the beach.

“We believe that this is the time for drastic measures and we recognize there’s a push and a pull in both directions. But for our city, we believe that it is what’s best,” Mayor Derrick Henry said.

Last week, crowds packed Daytona Beach for spring break but the number of beachgoers have since dwindled.

“Yeah, it’s dwindled but the weekend is coming and we want to discourage people from visiting Daytona Beach, and how strictly that would be enforced would be up to the county. And rather to do it at all is totally up to them,” Henry said.

On Saturday, the county closed beach ramps until further notice and lifeguards are enforcing social distancing guidelines, even using drones to disperse crowds.

Volusia County leaders told News 6 that its aware of Tuesday night’s city commissioners meeting and released a statement saying in part, (they) “will continue to collaboratively discuss and explore the matter as the resolution is received.”

[Timeline: The spread of coronavirus in Florida]

The County’s Beach Safety Division is ensuring that beachgoers follow social distancing guidelines, officials said.

According to county leaders, beach staff is observing the beach, especially in high-populated areas by using a drone. This allows staff to make adjustments as necessary to reduce the number of people on the beach.

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These decisions are also made in relation to the tide, which can decrease the size of the beach, according to the county.

The County encourages all residents to adhere to the CDC guidelines regarding social distancing.

“I take this very seriously.” Henry said.

Henry said if the beach remains open, city leaders will go back to the drawing board and look at other measures to encourage social distancing.

“This is not a fight. We respect the decision that they’ve made and we also understand the push and pull in both directions that they’re experiencing. We’re simply expressing what we value as it relates to Daytona Beach,” he said.

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