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Gov. Ron DeSantis urges Floridians to abide by beach closure orders

Hobe Sound Beach
Posted at 12:35 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 18:27:44-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Cool it.

That's the message Gov. Ron DeSantis is sending people who aren't following beach closure orders throughout the state of Florida.

"I think you have another class of people who are just selfish," the governor said at a news conference in The Villages on Monday. "You have no beach and they go to a sandbar, which is technically not the beach."

Currently, all county-owned beaches in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River counties are closed to prevent large groups of people from gathering.

Local sheriff's departments, as well as Parks and Recreations departments, are enforcing the closures.

"We have crews there in trucks kind of blocking the entrance and explaining to folks why it’s closed and why people should be staying home," said Erick Gill, Director of Communications for St. Lucie County.

DeSantis said residents who don't abide by the closures and trade in beaches for sandbars are putting the public in danger.

"I would just say for those folks, you need to cool it and let's get through this, because the more stuff you're doing, the more difficult and longer this may go," Gov. DeSantis said. "And I think if we take good action now, we're probably going to be better off, even in the immediate short term."

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus

Over the weekend, Palm Beach County leaders closed all boat ramps and marinas to recreational boating activities.

That order came after people who couldn't go to the beach gathered in large groups on sandbars, intracoastal lands, and waterways without observing social distancing.

"At the end of the day, you're gonna have a group of people who are not going to comply and who are going to put themselves first," Gov. DeSantis said Monday. "And the fewer number of those there are, the better off we'll be."

According to the latest numbers from the state, these are the total number of cases in each of our local counties:

  • Palm Beach County: 89
  • Martin County: 2
  • St. Lucie County: 3
  • Indian River County: 8
  • Okeechobee County: 0

For the latest information about the coronavirus in Florida, click here.