BELLE GLADE — City officials on Tuesday, April 28, issued several reminders of some restrictions remaining in place, even under Palm Beach County’s most recent orders and announcements regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The county’s mayor, Dave Kerner, announced Monday that county parks and other recreational facilities throughout the county, private and public, would be allowed to reopen starting Wednesday, April 29.
The city posted some strong advice for people on its official Facebook page, “City of Belle Glade.” While acknowledging that everyone was looking forward to things reopening, officials detailed the restrictions that remain in effect despite the two county executive orders this week.
These orders, except for the golf course ones, also apply inside the cities of Pahokee and South Bay, as well as all unincorporated areas of the Glades region. Pahokee’s marina and lakeside facilities, however, are closed to the public at present.
The first order strongly suggests that “people wear a face covering of some type whenever you’re in public. So essentially, if you’re outside of your home or car, your mouth and nose should be covered to the best of your ability.” That includes while people are using parks, marinas and golf courses.
These are the county’s rules under Order No. 005 regarding parks and recreational facilities:
- Parks are open sunrise to sunset.
- Natural areas, trails, jogging paths (one-way, unidirectional) are open only for walking, running, strolling and biking.
- Playground equipment shall remain closed and off-limits to the public.
- Picnic pavilions shall remain closed.
- Use of fountains is prohibited.
- Basketball courts shall be open for individual practice only. Only three players per half court shall be allowed. Competitive team games are prohibited. No shared use of equipment.
- Tennis courts open for singles play only.
- Indoor events prohibited. Recreational buildings and gymnasiums shall remain closed.
- Field sports prohibited, as are recreational programming and organized sports.
- Congregating in groups of 10 or more is prohibited.
- Use of shared sports equipment is prohibited.
- Spectator events are prohibited.
These are the city’s adaptations of the county’s rules under Order No. 005, specifically for the Belle Glade Municipal Golf Course:
- There will be new configurations and rules for the physical course that will be put in place by golf course staff. Players are not to remove or relocate such barriers or other physical limitations placed on the course.
- Play will be walking or single rider golf cart, with the exception of players from the same family riding in one cart.
- Warm-up will be at the driving range, during the period of time immediately prior to the player’s scheduled start time. Players must be at least 10 feet apart for warm-up. Players may not congregate on or near the driving range.
- Players may arrive no earlier than 20 minutes prior to tee time.
- Staff shall not handle bags, clubs or other equipment, or transport these items to and from parking lot. Players are responsible for bringing their golf equipment to a designated area.
- Clubhouse shall remain closed; no indoor events allowed. Pass-through window will be the only access to clubhouse/office.
- All league, clinic, camp, youth or other organized activities remain suspended.
- No caddies allowed.
- Restroom facilities for restroom use only (no changing of clothes, etc.).
- No club storage or retrieval (except as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act).
- Tee times shall be maintained at a 12-minute interval.
- All cups shall be filled with a swimming noodle, or the cup shall be raised an inch above the ground to prevent the ball from going in the hole. Players shall be informed not to touch or remove flag sticks.
- Rakes in bunkers shall be removed. USGA suggests golfers play preferred lie and players to “rake” with their feet.
- All sand containers, scorecards, pencils, tees, towels, coolers or other shared materials shall be removed from golf carts and only issued to individuals when requested from starter. Where appropriate, such items should be discarded after their initial use. Non-disposable items shall be thoroughly disinfected by staff prior to use by next player.
- All ball washers shall be removed or locked down.
- Golfers should bring their own water and bottles for proper hydration; restrictions are lifted for personal coolers containing water.
- Players shall not congregate after play. Players shall leave the golf facility immediately upon completion of play.
For boaters and marina operators, under Order No. 005:
- All vessels on water shall maintain a distance of 50 feet from other vessels.
- No overnight parking at boat ramps.
- No activities that do not allow for social distancing.
- No flotillas or rafting up of boats (which means two or more vessels tied up together); this is not allowed.
- No groups of more than 10 people.
- No beachings, landings, anchoring or mooring of vessels on shorelines.
- Vessel 25 feet or less: Maximum six people on the boat (all these limitations include both children and adults);
– Vessel 26-36 feet: Maximum of eight people;
– Vessel 37-60 feet: Maximum of 10 people; and,
– Vessel over 60 feet: 10 passengers maximum, not including crew members.
- The city generally does not have charters, commercial fishing and dive boats. However, should any such operation launch from the Belle Glade Marina, you are directed to review and adhere to the guidelines in PBC EO 2020-005.
- Boat ramps open sunrise to sunset.
- One boat per launch ramp bay at a time. Vessels should be prepared in advance for launch (plug secured, dock lines tied, safety equipment and provisions already onboard, etc.). In other words, be ready to launch when you arrive at the ramp. All passengers remain in vehicle until ramp is clear and you are ready to launch.
- Upon return to the dock, passengers must remain on the vessel until the boat is ready to be loaded onto the trailer. Once vessel is ready to load, passengers should disembark and immediately proceed to their vehicles (no congregating on docks or ramp area).
- Fish cleaning stations: One person at a time. When the station is occupied, wait in or at your vehicle until the station is clear before you approach. Observe proper cleaning and sanitation processes at all times.
- Fishing piers: Maintain a distance of at least 10’ from the next person.
In all cases, face coverings, social distancing (minimum of 6 feet — more is better), and strict hygiene/hand washing practices should be observed at all times.
BELLE GLADE — Birds take flight from one of the public docks at the marina behind Slim’s Fish Camp in this file photo from November 2017. (Photo by Chris Felker)