A Florida Park Opens & Recloses In Less Than A Week As Visitors Fail To Follow New Rules
Yes, you still have to wear a mask.
This is why we can't have nice things. Just five days after reopening, South Pointe Park closes after crowds failed to follow the city's social distancing guidelines. Miami Beach park rangers had to issue more than 7,000 verbal warnings this past weekend at the city's parks.
"UPDATE: South Pointe Park is CLOSED until further notice," The City of Miami Beach's Twitter account posted Monday. "Friendly reminder that you MUST wear a face cover when enjoying any one of our open #MBParks."
The city initially only closed the parking lot at South Pointe Park on Sunday, in an effort to encourage smaller crowds from entering the park and enforce social distancing rules. The decision to close the area completely was announced on Monday, according to the City of Miami Beach's official site.
Face coverings are required for those interested in visiting the parks, beach walks, and bay walks. Children under the age of 2, people with breathing problems, and those participating in "strenuous" exercise are exempt from this rule.
While Miami-Dade County is currently the epicenter of Florida's COVID-19 pandemic, it originally opened its on April 29.
After the reopening on Wednesday, government officials, including Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins and City Manager of Miami Beach Jimmy Morales, started emphasizing the importance of wearing face coverings and following the social distancing rules on their personal Twitter accounts.
According to Miami Beach Police, more than 7,000 warnings were issued throughout the county parks since Friday regarding the failure of individuals to follow the procedures.
While South Pointe Park wasn't the only recreational spot receiving the warnings, it received the most and was forced to close.
Miami-Dade has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, with 12,956 residents testing positive and 378 deaths to date based on Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard.
It's unclear whether the park will remain closed or if Miami Beach will continue to close the rest of their parks, though the Parks and Recreational Advisory Board is scheduled to meet again on May 6.