New signs warn of red tide at Brevard County beaches

Beachgoers urged to use caution

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Signs warning about the dangers of red tide exposure were placed at Brevard County beaches on Thursday, a day after state tests confirmed that the harmful algal bloom had made its way to the Space Coast.

Brevard County officials said they have ordered 300 signs to be placed as soon as possible in areas where red tide is present. Some signs were posted Thursday and they will continue to be placed on beaches, at lifeguard stands and at parks in the coming days.

The new signs urge beachgoers to use caution, especially if they suffer from chronic respiratory issues such as asthma, since the airborne red tide toxin can make those symptoms worse.

Tests results that came in Wednesday evening showed that red tide is present in high levels in Pelican Beach Park in Satellite Beach, and in medium levels in Indialantic, Coconut Point Park in Melbourne Beach and Spessard Holland South in Melbourne Beach.

Water testing will continue in Brevard County for as long as necessary.

In addition to the signs, Brevard County officials said they also plan to use social media to keep residents informed about the status of red tide in the area. As of now, there are no plans to close the beaches, according to Brevard County government Communications Director Don Walker.

"Red tide affects some people worse than others so it may not be at a high enough level that we would need to close the beach but obviously if you're at the beach and you're having an issue, then you should leave the beach," Walker said.

Brevard Public Schools officials also plan to take precautions to protect students at beachside schools. Outside activity will be limited and if the campus community begins to notice symptoms indoors, then the outside air ventilation will be closed.

Brevard County residents and anyone else living in an area impacted by red tide is encouraged to visit FWC.com/RedTideStatus for the most up-to-date information on the outbreak.

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