FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Friday was another step forward in reopening St. Lucie County after the shutdown due to the pandemic.
All county parks, playgrounds, basketball court and athletic fields were reopened to the public Friday.
At Lawnwood Stadium in Fort Pierce, there were a handful of people braving the heat to get out and exercise in county spaces, keeping CDC guidelines and social distancing in mind.
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Runners were busy using the track at the stadium while others were enjoying a game of tennis at the nearby courts.
Tennis coach Cheryl Golgart said the closures hit her business hard.
"It was brutal. It was heartbreaking. We are so close to our clients. A lot of them are like family," Golgart said.
People like high school students Ethan Bloomfield and Dyland Bryan work and train with Golgart. They enjoy the exercise and the friendly atmosphere.
"First day, I was like, [this] kid seems like a stud, and I've been talking to him ever since then, and we have fourth-period weight training together also," Bloomfield said.
Lawnwood's courts were allowed a soft reopening in May with strict guidelines, including limiting the number of players per court, but Friday was the first day they were fully open to the public.
"We were delighted to be able to reopen. We reopened slowly, and we're ramping up now," Golgart said.
County parks are now open from sunrise to sunset.
County leaders also encourage visitors to follow CDC guidelines while using facilities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Golgart said it is an easy request.
"We don't high five. We do racket click, and we don't do fist bumps. We just don't touch," Golgart said.