Beaches, parks, golf courses, boat ramps reopening in Martin County, officials say

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Posted at 6:49 AM, May 01, 2020

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Martin County is reopening beaches, parks, golf courses, and boat ramps, officials announced on Friday.

Commissioners voted to reopen all county beaches, excluding Hobe Sound Beach, starting on Monday, May 4.

In addition, all county parks, public and private golf courses, and boat ramps will reopen effective Friday, following a similar move in Palm Beach County.

Racquet sports will be allowed at parks, pavilions at parks will reopen, but playgrounds will remain closed.

Boat ramps will be open to recreational and commercial boating.

At all of those locations, people must abide by social distancing guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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On Friday, officials also said Martin County will follow new state guidelines that Gov. Ron DeSantis laid out earlier this week.

Phase One of Florida's reopening plan goes into effect on Monday and will allow retail shops to operate with 25 percent capacity.

In addition, restaurants can do outdoor seating with social distancing and indoor seating with 25 percent capacity.

Gyms, salons, movie theaters, and other large venues will remain closed.

Officials in St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties said they will participate in the governor’s plan.

Counties can have tighter restrictions than what the governor laid out, but cannot be more lenient.

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On Friday, Martin County commissioners also passed a motion to expand COVID-19 testing in the Indiantown community after U.S. Rep. Brian Mast expressed concerns over a possible threat of infection in that area.

Dozens of residents spoke at Friday's meeting and urged commissioners to reopen beaches, which they ultimately voted to do starting Monday.

Earlier this week, St. Lucie and Indian River County beaches reopened to the public with restrictions. Palm Beach County beaches remain closed.

Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are not included in a majority of Phase One of the governor’s reopening plan because of the high number of COVID-19 cases in those areas.

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 197 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Martin County, including six deaths.

Health officials said on Friday the county hit its peak of hospitalizations on April 5.

For the latest information about Martin County's response to the coronavirus outbreak, click here.