WEST PALM BEACH — Beaches along the entire Palm Beach County Atlantic coastline will be closed for the Fourth of July weekend by executive action of County Mayor Dave Kerner, announced on Sunday night, June 28.
It already had been announced that Atlantic beaches farther south, in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, would be closed for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, so bigger crowds even than usual on local beaches were expected.
This closure comes on the heels of the Palm Beach County Commission’s action last week to mandate the wearing of facial masks countywide in public places by everyone except those medically advised not to wear one. The order was clarified on Friday, June 25, to specify that houses of worship were not exempt, and that it applied in all areas of the county, including inside all municipalities. The county’s declaration of a state of emergency also was extended until July 3.
Mayor Kerner also announced the formation of a first-in-the-nation COVID-19 Education Compliance Team. The county’s announcement on its website at discover.pbc.org says that it “is comprised of representatives from state and local agencies including the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach County Code Enforcement and Fire Rescue, the Florida Department of Health-Palm Beach County and police departments from Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach. Team members will proactively conduct spot inspections of local businesses and public venues, noting where masks are not being worn and/or social distancing is not being consistently practiced.”
The county also mailed two face masks free to the address of every single and family household in Palm Beach County.
As to enforcement, a summary of the County Emergency Order 2020-12 says: “The Sheriff of Palm Beach County, other law enforcement agencies and any other personnel authorized by law are authorized to enforce this order. Authorized personnel may issue civil citations for fines not to exceed $250 for the first violation and $500 for each additional violation.”
Palm Beach County also is making available Homebound Resident Testing for coronavirus:
“Residents eligible for the new testing option include homebound elderly or individuals with disabilities who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and cannot leave their homes to access one of the drive-up or walk-up test collection sites. Residents who believe they are eligible for the in-home testing option should call 561-712-6400 for a pre-qualifying assessment. The testing line is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.”