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Lee County reopens beaches, parks

Some amenities to remain closed

April 28, 2020
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Lee County will open its beaches and other parks on Wednesday.

Because of "continued voluntary compliance and the community's greater awareness for Centers for Disease Control guidelines," the county reopening of its parks and preserves will include all beaches and beach access points, parking lots and free-standing bathrooms with regular hours to resume Wednesday. Some park amenities, such as playgrounds, pavilions and rec centers will remain closed.

"Staff will be onsite to help encourage following the CDC guidelines, including social distancing," officials said.

Article Photos

Town of Fort Myers Beach residents got an early taste of the beach reopenings to come Wednesday morning as the town on Monday authorized a three-hour morning window for walking for residents only.

The move was approved at an emergency Board of County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, "is part of the county's phased-in approach for residents while still observing the Governor's Executive Order."

Commissioners offered guidelines and stressed residents should remain vigilant to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The county beach sites include:

Beach Parks

Bonita Beach Park

Bowditch Point Park

Bowman's Beach Park

Causeway Islands

Crescent Beach Family Park

Little Hickory Island Beach Park

Lynn Hall Memorial Beach Park

San Carlos/Bunche Beach Preserve

Turner Beach Park

Alison Hagerup Beach Park

Andy Rosse Lane Park

Boca Grande Beach Accesses

Bonita Beach Accesses

Dog Beach Park

?Estero Islands Beach Accesses

The following amenities at all Lee County locations will remain closed:

Playgrounds

Pavilions

Recreation centers

Soccer, lacrosse and football fields

Basketball courts

Piers

Splash pads and pools

Baseball and softball fields will re-open with caveats, including no league play and no access to dugouts or bleachers. These fields will be for groups of 10 or less who want to practice baseball or softball but they will need to contact the Parks & Recreation supervisor listed on each landing page at www.leeparks.org for the individual site that has the field. Or people can call the Parks main phone number at 239-533-7275 for assistance.

Additional plans are in place for the reopening, including:

Staff will make hash marks on the walkways at high-use tennis and pickle ball courts and other areas to help guide the public of social distancing if there is a waiting line.

All dog parks will re-open with caveats. There will not be any seating areas provided. Patrons need to bring their own chairs; pre-established socially distanced spacing will be identified. Patrons must take chairs home when they leave.

All parking fees will go back into effect under this re-opening to help with congestion and turn over that occurs at high-use park sites with parking fees. Staff are assigned to clean parking pay machines.

Normal operating hours at all parks, preserves and beach-access sites will be observed.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office will assist with monitoring and educating the public at county beaches.

Announcements about future openings will be forthcoming; check www.leegov.com/covid-19 or Facebook Lee County Government.

"County leaders continue to monitor data and work with partners Lee Health and the Florida Department of Health as it relates to the county's phased-in approach to re-opening more sites and resuming in-person services," the release from the county states.

Recommended guidelines for the beaches and parks include:

All individuals, when in public, should maximize physical distance from others, maintain a minimum of 6 feet

Social settings of 10 people or more should be avoided, where appropriate distancing may not be practical

Vulnerable individuals should continue to stay home

Practice proper handwashing techniques, especially after touching frequently used surfaces

Avoid touching your face

Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.

Stay calm, stay kind, and stay safe.

 
 
 

 

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