Lee and Collier County officials discuss the reopening of beaches in SWFL

Posted at 12:22 AM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 09:46:32-04

CAPE CORAL,Fla. — Just a few weeks ago our beaches were filled with tourists and locals enjoying our beautiful waters, but due to the dramatic spread of the Coronavirus, they remain taped off and closed until further notice.

Local leaders in Jacksonville and St. Augustine reopened beaches Friday, but Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman says we need to take it slow.

“I don’t think we are ready to make that move yet in southwest Florida. I think we want to see the data and the trending continue to move in the right direction, before we make the move on the beaches”, said Commissioner Hamman,

He says Lee, Collier, and Charlotte County officials will be working closely, on whether to reopen beaches soon.

“Now is a good time to work with each other to plan how we could do it in a coordinated way, between the three counties that are on the west coast of Florida”, said Commissioner Hamman.

Collier County District 4 Commissioner Penny Taylor says working together is the best option.

“ I don’t want to be the first to open up beaches, because that will draw folks here, and that’s not what we need, no we need social distancing” said Commissioner Taylor.

It’s been one month since Collier County Commissioners have called a meeting, leaving the answer in limbo.

“So at this point I don’t know what we are going to do. No matter what the phasing is, will depend on where we are going with the infection rate in our community” said Commissioner Taylor

They are following all health, national and state orders to get our beaches reopened. It’s just a matter of being patient.

“It’s hard on all of us especially in this weather, but if we’re going to do it, let’s do it right. Let’s do it with the science and wisdom of our medical community and let’s make sure, let's make sure we don’t end up in the future where we are today”, said Commissioner Taylor.