Walton County COVID19 Updates

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Teresa, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. mrs.rocket

    mrs.rocket Beach Lover

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    Walton County commissioners are moving toward closing the beaches to all of the public. They’re reconvening tomorrow at 9 am, and we’ll know more then.
     
  2. elgordoboy

    elgordoboy Beach Fanatic

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  3. dmb3535

    dmb3535 Beach Crab

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    Will that mean that nobody will be allowed on beach or is that shutting down certain higher traffic areas. I’m down here for a month and stay away from high traffic areas. Basically house, beach, bed, repeat. We have house on beach and want to abide by rules and laws, would that mean that we could actually get in trouble for walking out our back deck and playing in sand and water?
     
  4. leeboy

    leeboy Beach Lover

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    Don't sweat it. Closure would be to thin crowds. Probably just some beach patrols asking you to leave the beach.
     
  5. mrs.rocket

    mrs.rocket Beach Lover

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    If public beaches are closed, no one will be allowed on them. I’m not entirely sure it’ll matter where you’re staying. Everyone will have more information tomorrow morning after the commissioners meeting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  6. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Florida doctor's message for spring breakers in Florida during pandemic
    Anderson Cooper speaks with a Florida doctor about spring breakers and vacationers who seem to be ignoring health officials warnings about social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak.

    Seagrove Beach doctor Christine Smiley interviewed on Anderson Cooper Full Circle today:

    Anderson Cooper Full Circle - CNN

     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  7. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Actions taken during March 17th, 2020 City Council Meeting

    City of Freeport

    • Approval of the emergency meeting of the Council and the agenda.

    • Approval to ratify the Mayor to declaring a state of emergency; Resolution 2020-04. Allows the City access to FEMA money and to pursue any emergency actions the state declares.

    • Approval to suspend any staff travel out of the county unless permitted by the Mayor.

    • Approval to suspend outdoor events and activities on public property requiring a permit by the City of Freeport until declared otherwise.

    • Approval to suspend rental of all city facilities, i.e. field rentals and Blount House.

    • Approval to suspend volunteer board and committee meetings until the next regular council meeting April 14, 2020.

    • Approval to cancel all City Council meetings until the April 14th Council meeting and to allow the Mayor the authority to execute a contract to purchase a truck for the Water Department not to exceed the Sheriff’s contract amount.

    • Approval to close bathroom and water facilities at the parks and grant discretion to the Mayor the authority to consult with Charlie Simmons to adjust hours of operation of the parks and any closures in accordance with all state or federal recommended guidelines.
     
  8. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Walton County COVID-19 Information

    FDOH COVID-19 Information Page (Updated Regularly)

    CDC COVID-19 Information Page (Updated Regularly)



    Walton County BCC – Updated 3-18-2020

    • Currently 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 in Walton County

    • Issued Local State of Emergency on March 16th, 2020 effective at 2:00 p.m.

    • Walton County Board of County Commissioners (WCBCC), the WCBCC approved a motion to direct the County Attorney to draw up an emergency ordinance to close the beaches in Walton County. At their direction, the County Attorney's office will work on the ordinance and bring it to the board The board at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday March 19th as part of the recessed Emergency Meeting.

    • The Senior Center in DeFuniak Springs, located on College Ave. has been closed and will not reopen until further notice.

    • The Walton County Housing Agency will continue to serve the tenants and landlords on the program via email and phone. Until further notice, the office will be closed to walk-in visits.
    • All County youth sports programs are canceled. This includes the use of any recreational fields by independent league sports.

    • Per Governor Executive Order - Restaurants in Florida will be able to stay open but only be allowed to fill to half capacity and all tables must be at least 6 feet apart. All Florida bars and nightclubs are to close beginning 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17th and must remain closed for 30 days. Cancellation of all BCC and TDC permitted outdoor events and beach activity ordinance special events.

    • Cancellation of all work-related travel outside the county for BCC employees without special permission from Director and County Administration.

    • Suspension of the rental of all public facilities.

    • Extended all current dog beach permits for 8 weeks. No new permit processing until June 1st.

    • Extended all driving on the beach permits until August 1st. Beach permit lottery application process will begin June 1st.

    • All Walton County Volunteer Board meetings have been canceled for the remainder of March and the month of April. At this time, these meetings are expected to continue in May.
     
  9. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    BREAKING: Walton County Commissioners vote to close the beaches to the public for 30 days effective immediately.

    FB_IMG_1584628947237.jpg
     
  10. deborsk

    deborsk Beach Lover

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    Does it apply to beach front property owners as well? If the beaches are closed, then it should apply to all. I have no problem with closing the beaches, but giving special privilege to those who are fortunate to own beachfront properties really irks me.
     
  11. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    We have a lot of details to be clarified on this emergency order to close public beaches. It may not be perfect but it's the right call for right now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2020
  12. redfisher

    redfisher Beach Fanatic

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    Wow, so you want to tell someone what they can and can't do on their property? Especially something as trivial as going out into their backyard?
     
  13. southof30A

    southof30A Beach Lover

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    Even though the county says they can't close private beaches, they certainly can close the water (think double red flags). This would be a further deterrent to short term renters.
     
  14. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    This morning the Walton County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that will temporarily close all 26 miles of beach in Walton County to the public in order to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19. Board members struggled with this decision and acknowledged the devastating effects this will have for our local economy and jobs, but voted to pass the measure in hopes of saving lives of locals and visitors.

    The action goes into effect immediately, and although owners of private beach still have legal access to their own property, board members are urging them to abide by the spirit of safety and caution they are putting forth county-wide.

    The Walton County TDC will begin spreading this message immediately, and physically closing all beach accesses early tomorrow morning. The Walton County Sheriff’s Office has stated that they will be pushing for voluntary compliance, and pursuing an education-first response strategy.

    These are unprecedented actions, and unprecedented times. We must stand together, and prepare to once again welcome visitors and the lifeblood that tourism brings to our economy as soon as conditions allow us to do so.

    We are all in this together, and we are committed to help partner in any way that we can.


    Best Regards,

    Jay Tusa, CDME, CTIS, TMP
    Executive Director
    Walton County TDC
    (850) 267-1216
    Jay@VisitSouthWalton.com
     
  15. deborsk

    deborsk Beach Lover

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    Like my mom used to say when i was growing up:
    What's good for the goose is good for the gander!
     
  16. James Bentwood

    James Bentwood Beach Fanatic

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    Yes, and hope they have the conscience to help our community, which in a health crisis like this, extends to the entire globe.
     
  17. Will B

    Will B Moderator

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    I love how they said they were going to practice "social distancing"; yet, they all passed around a single hand held microphone. Boneheads!
     
  18. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    BREAKING: Okaloosa County Commissioners vote to close county beaches to the public. This comes after Walton County Commissioners voted to close their public beaches earlier this morning.
     
  19. deborsk

    deborsk Beach Lover

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    Are they allowing beachfront owners access to their beaches like we are?
     
  20. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    FB_IMG_1584635816347.jpg

    SEASIDE
    Social media post March 19

    This curfew is prelude to our commercial closure. We love our visitors but please go home and come back when it’s safe. #socialdistance

    FB_IMG_1584635635893.jpg
     

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