ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – St. Johns County commissioners, meeting remotely in an online video conference, voted Tuesday to extend the local state of emergency for the third time. It’s something commissioners are required to do every week to keep the county’s Emergency Management plan active.
Despite a petition and public comment asking for the county’s beaches to reopen at least for limited hours, commissioners decided to keep them closed for now.
The continuing beach closures have created some controversy. More than 11,000 people have signed a change.org petition calling for opening the beaches for limited hours. Most of 30 people who spoke during the public comments portion of Tuesday’s meeting want at least limited access to the beaches but several commissioners said that this wouldn’t be a wise decision to make at this time with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.
Commissioners said this is something they will continue to review access to the beaches each week.