Last Updated: 5:18 p.m.
Flagler County Administrator Jerry Cameron this morning told county, city and law enforcement officials during the daily emergency management conference call that the county was preparing to reopen its parks for limited individual or household use on a trial basis, to give residents some room to breathe and test whether they would respect the social distancing rules in place. He announced the decision as a done deal.
City officials were taken aback, and displeased on several counts: the county’s decision seemed unilateral, as it had not been discussed ahead of time just hours earlier in the executive policy group that consists of the county’s and city’s executives and law enforcement chiefs. The decision appeared premature, with even local health officials saying that the apex of the coronavirus is still two to three weeks away. And city officials worry that the county’s mixed message would sow confusion and make the job of maintaining existing stay-at-home rules more difficult.
The county had not consulted law enforcement chiefs, either. And the local department of health chief was not on board–only a day after Cameron, at the same conference call, had spoken of Flagler’s exceptional efforts in the region. To some who were on the call, the county’s move was a throwback to pre-Cameron days when the county often moved arbitrarily and with dismal communications with fellow governments.
After the morning conference call, Flagler County Health Department Chief Bob Snyder spoke with Cameron. Cameron wouldn’t budge–in essence, going against the health department’s recommendations.
The county’s re-opening of parks would not apply to the county’s beaches, or even to a park at the beach, such as Varn Park. When Cameron queried each city toward the end of the discussion this morning about the re-opening, the response was unanimous: no city wanted any park, including county parks within city limits, to re-open.
“We’re all in agreement that parks in our jurisdictions should remain close and only be reopened after they’re determined safe to do so by the department of health,” Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney, who spoke with Flagler Beach Acting Manager Bobby Pace (the city’s fire chief) said this afternoon. “The cities and law enforcement across the board with the municipalities were steadfast, and let our opinions be known, and they still moved forward with their decision.”
In a remarkable move that shows the seriousness of the opposition–and the the new division between the county and the cities–Palm Coast, Bunnell and Flagler Beach were preparing a joint statement in the form of a press release, explaining their stance, Doughney said. Similarly, the county was preparing its own press release explaining its re-opening.
Palm Coast City Manager Matt Morton found the county’s decision incomprehensible, especially in the face of what had been a unified approach to the emergency so far, and in the face of resistance verbalized at this morning’s call. “The cities are resistant, I know the health department is resistant,” Morton said. “the conversation just emerged there and did receive quite a bit of resistance from the cities.”
Snyder could not be reached before this article initially published. But Doughney also said that the health department was on the cities’ side. It was in conjunction with Doughney that Snyder in late March reached the decision that beaches should be closed. The decision has caused city and county officials quite a bit of grief as they continue to receive emails and other communications from residents who want their beaches reopened. The county’s move appears to be an attempt to defuse some of the pressure by giving a little ground, though the county is doing so at the expense of what until now had been a remarkably cohesive approach.
And Snyder was quoted in the city’s release, lending his voice–and his weight–to the municipalities’ decision: “As you know, our numbers for positive cases and deaths are low for a reason because as a community we have made the right decisions to practice social distancing at an optimal level,” Snyder said. “The Palm Coast community and majority of residents in the County have heeded the advice of public health and governmental officials. This is paying off and we have not overburdened hospital resources or seen outbreaks in our nursing homes and long term care facilities as a result. Also, testing opportunities have improved significantly during the last week and we are catching up to the State average. Hang tough, resolute and we’ll let the virus, data and evidence of mitigation efforts continue to have a positive impact, so that our businesses and economy can reopen in a safe manner.”
“Yes, we cherish our independence and individual liberties,” Snyder had written last week in response to an particularly insulting email he’d received from a constituent opposing beach closures. “But when faced with a deadly virus, 10 times more contagious than the flu, a novel virus that we are just learning about, with no vaccine, no antiviral medication, no treatment other than supportive care–yea, it is incumbent on everyone to do the right thing and practice behaviors that we have all been communicating the last few weeks. One person’s freedom to do what they want versus what is in the best interest and common good of the community will sometimes be at odds when faced with a public health emergency.”
Morton cited three reasons why Palm Coast, among the first cities to impose a stay-at-home recommendation in the state, was not changing course: the apex curve was just pushed back to May 3. While the county has one of the lowest incidence rate of infections, he says “I don’t think that’s a fluke,” seeing existing measures as the reason. He’s been focused on preserving resources, including the health of first responders, whose calls might increase if parks are again active. And, as he told Cameron during the call, he finds it “disingenuous” of the county to imagine that reopening its parks would not also attract out of county residents when it’s spent years marketing those amenities through its tourism bureau.
The city officials also told the county administrator that their resources would be in unnecessarily higher demand whether or not open parks were in cities’ jurisdictions: mutual aid agreements between agencies mean that, say, Flagler Beach will respond with its firefighters anywhere they’re needed in the county, as will palm Coast’s. And they are concerned about the mixed messaging.
“We’re not going to be the social distancing police,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “I’m not going to have my deputies risk contracting Covid-19 to enforce social distancing. We’ll educate from a distance, but we’re not going to issue notices to appear or make an arrest, because I need my first responders to respond to criminal activity, and if they get sick, that doesn’t help us all. The concern that I have is that Florida is not predicted to peak until May 6. We’re having good compliance now overall. But I don’t make the decisions on when the policies change, and when I found out about it this morning, I gave my input.”
County Commission Chairman Dave Sullivan sees the initiative as more of a test run than anything else. “We were going to do a very small kind of test starting this weekend,” he said. “This has nothing to do with the beaches. But it would be county parks and trails. The idea is to do a very limited, a few hours a day, trial opening to see if people will keep their distance, and be able to use the trails and exercise and that kind of thing. But it wouldn’t be a full-scale opening of the parks. The idea is that walking on a trail or a park wouldn’t be too different than walking on the street now. The social distancing would be maintained, but that would not include the beaches.”
County Commissioner Joe Mullins didn’t wait for the county’s announcement to be issued, taking to Facebook to make what he called “a big announcement,” and describing the reopening of county trails as part of the effort to “get America back where we need to be.” He prefaced his short announcement by saying that after setting policy, commissioners stepped back to let “trained medical professionals and trained emergency professionals” take actions. He said “they decided to close the beaches, the parks and the trails.”
He did not say that the professionals recommended the reopening of the trails. In fact, they had recommended against it. But Mullins attributed the decision to alleged community discussions “and the president saying last night we’re going to shift as a nation to start reopening, the governor saying we’re shifting to the state and starting to look at reopening, and the county, we’ve now started that dialogue and we’ve started talking about reopening the community.” Mullins’s statement was a window into the genesis of the county’s decision, which appears to be based more on politics than facts or science.
Sullivan’s description of the initiative was more measured than Mullins’s, saying the initiative would be shut down if it proved that residents were congregating again. “So this is not a mass movement here, it’s an attempt to see if people, now that they have had the social distancing, that we can do a little more of this, but it doesn’t change the social distancing requirements. It’s a minor step to do a little trial to see what’s possible within the current guidelines.”
Sullivan acknowledged that the cities were resistant–he’d gotten a call from Flagler Beach mayor Linda Provencher, who was concerned about the beaches, and the county’s moves taking place unilaterally. “She wouldn’t want us to just open the beaches without having discussed it with the mayor, with Flagler Beach, and that didn’t happen, it’s only the county parks, and not the beaches,” Sullivan said. “As far as the mixed message goes, I think people will understand if it’s explained properly, but this is a trial.” If the trial fails, he said, the initiative will be scrapped.
“This was a strategic decision. Easing of restrictions on the parks with trails is provisional, and it is based on appropriate social distancing,” Cameron was quoted as saying in the county’s release. “If it doesn’t work – if people take advantage of the situation and use it as an opportunity to gather together – we will immediately reclose the parks.” (Cameron could not be reached by phone before this article initially published.)
Jonathan Lord, the county’s emergency management chief, said the idea of trail access in county parks, individually or as household exercises, “is not violating any public health guidance.” He said it’s similar to n individual or a couple walking down the street. “Again, it truly is an experiment, we have not lifted our emergency order closing the parks. This is more of a stay” of that order in certain circumstances. “We’re not opening the building,s the playgrounds or the courts, because all of those encourage group activities.” He insisted that the minute the experiment goes awry, it would be ended. He said the county “has faith” in residents’ abiding by the rules.
“Very few counties in the state did a full-on park closure as we did,” Lord said.
Community centers, playgrounds, sports fields, courts, pavilion rentals, the skate park, and the buildings at Princess Place Preserve remain closed. The beach also remains closed. Reopening of additional facilities will be re-evaluated after the success of easing these restrictions has been determined, the release stated.
Well, I can see our City Government, is doing its best work – no regard for the residence. Wow, if it wasn’t for us, they would have no City to run. Get it together and DO THE RIGHT THING. Kinda simple, I say!
Why build them if we can’t use them? Goes to show that American’s aren’t really free.
Tax Payer says
You will when it’s safe too.
Americans are free to be safe from diseases and danger. You are free to always leave. They were built for use when they are not a place that can spread disease and continue to harm people.
If Mullens supports this it can’t be good.
f the gated communities ignore what the cities and county does what’s the difference in this??
So many sad comments by sad people.
You can’t live if, your too afraid of dying.
Open everything up already…
Vincent Lyon says
So it’s a test? And if the residents fail, how many of them are going to die? Really, putting peoples lives at risk in opposition to every other elected body and every professional involved is a terrible way to score political points.
wendy m smith says
I agree This is a mistake to reopen everything and say its a trial when the police clearly stated that they will not enforce that ruling!
As usual its the honor system and we all know how that works the rich get to do as they please and bring down the whole of the city and county what a shame people lack so much self discipline and can not stand each other to be isolated for a little while longer Impatient arrogant stupid people.I am ashamed of this city
Did they also authorize anyone testing positive for COVID-19 after visiting one or more of these parks to submit all medical and hospitalization expenses to the County? Or, extend this coverage to anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 after interacting with someone who visited one or more of these parks? Is a rational expectation don’t you think? Just as rational as their decision.
Psh, they don’t seem to be following up with or checking on the health status of any of the people (and there are a lot), who came back to PC from New York, New Jersey or other “hot” zones. I feel the county is acting amazingly similar to Mr. Trump in this regard.
Watch, if they open the country, states, cities and counties too soon, how the number of cases rise as well as the number of the dead. Seems like he got a bug up his butt and impulsively (sound familiar?) just had to show his authority somehow. Strut your stuff then, buddy but wear a mask while you’re doing it. 🙄
Linda H. says
Everything around us is opening up, or never shut down in the first place. How long do you want to keep people locked up, and how long do you think they will allow you to do that?
Is Walmart, Publix, Home Depot or any other business offering to pay Covid 19 expenses if someone were to contract the virus there? Much more likely to get infected there than at a park or trail.
Why would they, people were told to stay home? Yes, they need food so order it online and pick it up. You do not have to go into a store. Sounds like some people want are just selfish and money-hungry.
Why is Tager posting a message to students in front of the beach saying he just completed a beach run when beaches are closed? Instead of demonstrating he is following the rules he appears to be flaunting the rules. I hope it works and people stay apart. PC #s are not reflective of reality due to minimal testing.
Why risk the spread of the virus. Do you really need to go to a park? Does nothing to help the economy.
What are we dealing with, a bunch of 2 year olds who are throwing a tantrum because they “wanna go play”? There’s a reason Flagler has low numbers and that’s the heroic jobs being done by so many. Now to put them at heightened risk again is so selfish. We have something going on that there is no vaccine for. If one of you naysayers test positive in the future for being so careless you’ll be the first one to complain and seek care. I don’t want to say “you won’t deserve it”, but in good conscience, I can’t. We’re all dealing with this. Learn some coping skills. Who likes staying in their house 24/7 only to go out for essentials? The more we cooperate with what’s being asked, the quicker we’ll all be able to resume with everyday activities. As it stands now, this world will never be the same as it was – why are you thoughtless, selfish people making it worse? It’s bad enough that “essential” workers are putting themselves at risk everyday
having their families and friends worry about them getting COVID-19 and maybe spreading it. Why make a bad situation into a hopeless one?
Why don’t you just STAY HOME for the next 2 years or until a vaccine is found and distributed to ALL Americans. Eat your Pon Pon’s and watch ” Days of are Lives ” …(rinse and repeat) ……
I’m going out and get some fresh air and a long walk, sun, and beautiful Spring colors.
The Voice Of Reason says
Elaine, very well said. When one looks at the statistical curves, (graphs), comparing cases and deaths from covid-19 we are dead last compared to every other country in the world. The worst! Similar to when you compare what we spend on healthcare vs health outcomes. We rank between 15th and 20th of all major countries in the world. Greed is our worst flaw. Our capitalism has an acute cancer. Greed. Republicans are most to blame. Their voters are a gullible bunch. Luckily their leadership provides them with plenty of guns and ammo to repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot. Enjoy you parks irresponsible fools.
If a democrat is in charge, its always a disaster. They want to total destroy america for their own gain and China!
My goodness. Stop the controversy. We are talking a few weeks. Stay home for the good of all.
Lee brickser says
I feel pretty safe in this county because of the early steps we have taken. We can’t let our guard down because of s few trump wannabe’s. This is so obvious and predictable after trumps push to get things back to normal. Sorry we aren’t ready! We are still fighting this thing. How can we let a few county commissioners go against every responsible and intelligent department head who are there to protect us. As far as I’m concerned we need to do more like not being allowed in a grocery store without a mask! Are they going to demand masks on the trail? Do you think they will really close the trails again? Stick with the plan! It’s way to early people!
This was a fire drill anyway. 2 deaths to Pneumonia in 3.5 months. 2018 had 21 Flu related Pneumonia deaths in the entire calendar year. Really, I’d like to see the test stats from what they did administer since the $ 2 trillion Federal healthcare scam. This has cost too may their savings and when we come out of this, massive unemployment. Just another day in BAB Flagler county. There was one weekend where we had more fatalities on I-95 than COVID-19 had in all of 2020 for this county. Don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but really, nobody saved anyone in this one, the numbers just aren’t there. We seem to have 50 cases tops so far. And those that expired, since the COVID-19 test is about as accurate with true (1 out of 6) & false positives (the other 5 of the 6), That’s less than a 17% accuracy rate. Would you believe anyone that told you that you had COVID-19 ?
Anyway, we all know it’s the usual suspects that are going to violate social distancing, they’re in their own little worlds where the universe revolves around them. Probably the same one’s that hoarded TP ? I mean, with that many tushes to wipe in their home, that crew will be most likely to swarm the park pavillions and everywhere else they invade ? And when they ran out of TP, they used paper towels, sanitary wipes and flushed those to back up the sewage facilities.
Proud American says
If you don’t want to go to the park don’t, but for some folks and families we have a right to use our own discretion and spend some time outdoors…. you can decide for your self but only yourself. We have rights too!
You don’t have the right to infect me or anyone else with a deadly virus that has no vaccine and no cure.
Proud American says
I don’t plan on meeting you at the park. I don’t plan on going to your house. If you are that afraid, stay home, and you won’t get it.
Why do YOU feel you can tell me what to do?
Are you planning to pay my bills?
Lil bird says
Stay in your house if you’re concerned, get Instacart to deliver you some vitamin D & zoom with your therapist or a bottle of vodka (or both!). The rest of us are going to space out (literally) listening to the happy birds on a local bike trails or otherwise enjoy the green space in our own little world without you harping in our ear like the nagging MIL you probably are.
Proud american says
Also want to mention virus’ don’t have cures and not everyone will get the vaccine…this will always be out there.
Kids can’t be on iPads all day. I don’t like my kids to Be on them period…bad enough they have to now for 6 hours of the day for school ..which by the way, is not equivalent to being in school…these kids are losing a lot this year!
We pay taxes to use our parks and pay for schools. So unless the county wants to give me a big discount since I have been teaching my kids, and not using the parks/beaches…open them!
Our supermarkets have way more germs than the parks and the beaches…get SMART!,,, it’s called the fresh outdoors!!!!
Deb Reilly says
Let’s hope this decision doesn’t leave more innocent people gasping for air.
I would t expect anything different from the county .good open the parks and if our numbers of corona increase can we hold the exec and commissioners responsible . What do they care , make all the residents happy even if you expose more of us to this Chinese bug . Couldn’t help notice Bings landing to open ? That that include the pig pen also?
Laura B says
About time! Flagler old guys finally man-ed up and chose to respect GROWN adults & their constitutional rights. Now adults please control yourself & enjoy fishing & fresh air from a respectable distance– just like the governor directed. All you city “leaders” act like we can’t read the CDC guidelines or governor’s recommendation ourselves. Instead of insulting us further, be proud of your local citizens who have sacrificed so much (at expense of many personal job/business losses) to help keep low numbers in this county. These same people deserve the response Flagler County gave today in response to PUBLIC parks.
Quick PSA to Palm Coast & Flagler beach: Power without authority is tyranny.
Percy's mother says
Regarding Flagler County Health Department Chief Bob Snyder’s MEDICAL background and training, where did he get his medical training? Does he have any medical training? What are his medical credentials?
Regarding Flagler County Health Department spokesperson, Gretchen Smith’s medical background and training, what are Gretchen Smith’s MEDICAL credentials? Where did Gretchen Smith get her medical training? What are Gretchen Smith’s medical credentials.
As far as I know and can remember, Gretchen Smith was working at the Flagler Chamber of Commerce before her present position as spokesperson for the Flagler County Health Department. Yet, she speaks as if she knows what she’s talking about when discussing policy decisions such as this morning on WNZF when referring to opening up business in Flagler county.
Has Gretchen Smith ever owned a business? What are Gretchen Smith’s medical credentials?
What are Bob Snyder’s medical credentials? Aside from being an administrator in the medical realm, that is.
What do these two people with no medical credentials have to do with policy making regarding our present situation?
I’ll leave it at that for now.
What are Jabba the trump’s medical credentials? Is its practicing medicine during its daily substitute for its Nuremberg rallies deserve questioning?
@The rest of you trumpvid-45 carriers
How long do you think the real doctors, nurses, paramedics, morgue workers, etc. and et. al., can continue 12 to 16 hour work days – day in and day out; living in self isolation, when not working, to protect their families and loved ones? And that’s just the tip of just one of many icebergs.
You can read about Bob Snyder’s decades in hospital and public health administration here: http://flagler.floridahealth.gov/about-us/administrator-message.html. He’s not the medical director. Dr. Stephen Bickel is. They work in tandem, with Snyder in charge of the big picture, directing all aspects of the department within its walls and across jurisdictions, also in tandem with emergency management. There’s very little difference between the kind of clarity and brilliance you’ll hear from Bickel and the kind you might read from physicians on the NYT’s or WSJ’s OpEd pages these days. Snyder’s role is not to offer medical direction per se but to translate it into local policy direction or recommendation—-or to exercise the very vast authority Florida law allows him to exercise when it comes to more drastic public health measures, which so far have been held at bay. As for Smith, your questions are irrelevant, verging on the prosecutorial, as they raise an unfair hint of suspicion by association. Smith is the department’s chief information officer, and as such conveys the department’s innumerable messages in language radio listeners and others can grasp. She’s not into playing HG Wells on the air or into blowhardism, in our experience (a relief, considering the tendencies of some PIOs to descend into propaganda). We also know her from the chamber, where she was in charge of government relations, a role that dovetails with her responsibilities at the department of health as we understand them. There are legitimate questions to raise about the government’s response to this emergency, even the response from what’s left of our decimated public health departments, which have essentially been operating on financial crutches for the past ten years, through no fault of their own. The questions you raise may indicate a misunderstanding of the DOH’s roles, which Smith no doubt could explain to you next time she takes to the airwaves.
We’re addressing this here at length because no doubt you’re not the only one who may have similiar questions.
Linda H. says
Testing is taking place now daily at a drive thru at Daytona State. After all the complaints about not testing, few are showing up now to be tested. If you would like to be tested, you must have at least one symptom of the virus, and you must call County Health to schedule an appointment. Flagler County still has the lowest numbers in Central Florida. We had 46 cases for days and that recently increased to 50 because they are testing now. We are in good shape here. Only 7 required hospitalization. The rest are recovering at home. Our county officials should be proud of that instead of squabbling among themselves. They have done a very good job.
We can’t stay home forever.
Al realistic says
The same people complaining about park reopenings, spring breakers on the beach, bike week etc are the same people herding like cattle in Walmart. and crawling up your butt at the register or even in the aisle…… if you don’t feel safe going out then stay inside., if you think the park is unsafe then don’t go there…. the world can’t stay closed forever….
OMG…… Just open the damn Beaches NOW !!!!!!
What a ridiculous move. Look at the numbers..yesterday 45.today 50….just in case the county commissioners are lacking in math skills that’s more then a 10% increase. We have not peaked….. yet they plunge foolishly ahead most likely creating bigger health issues then we already have. To the comment our positive case numbers are low…..hello does this person realize Flagler County is a county with a much smaller population then other counties?
SASHAY AWAY says
Later as Jerry Cameron says to Mullin , ” What a fine mess you have gotten us into”.
C Hansen says
The TRUE PATRIOTS AND REAL AMERICANS of Flagler county will ingnore the politial agenda of the county and STAY HOME.
We will not be duped into going against the health experts and cause true harm within our own community. We will NOT be on the wrong side of history and because we value our freedoms, we are able do to the patriotic thing and STAY HOME.
Maria Darcy says
Food for thought..My granddaughter is a cardiothoracic surgeon in residency in Texas. She has shared this information: While the media reports numbers of deaths, 98% of patients recover. Their symptoms differ based on their individual health risks. A healthy, strong immune system is the best defense for recovery if contracting Covid 19. She has encouraged us to Maintain ideal weight, (not more than 20 lbs over ideal weight) practice good hygiene, get 8 hours of sleep, healthy diet, lifestyle behaviors like smoking, excessive alcohol, drug use endanger the immune system, cardio exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes, techniques to cope with stress, fresh air and clean water, physicals as advised by personal physician. She is concerned for high risk patients, but encourages us to pay more attention to our immune system and less attention to the constant news feed.
Very well stated. I am 55 years old and go to the gym every day I am off. I can easily bench press my own weight 20 times. My typical workout involves 20 plus sets of weight exercises. My blood pressure is enviable to a 40 year old. I can hop on my bike and ride 20 miles with no problem. When I work out, I feel great afterwards; when I sit around I feel sluggish and bummed out. I am trying to work out at home but I just don’t have enough equipment compared to the gym. I went to the Vitamin Shoppe and it was closed. I walked by the liquor store (I don’t drink) and it was OPEN. Tell me how all these officials are helping me again?
Howard Beale says
Look folks, this is classic MAGA inspired “Death Cult” republican extremism off it’s rails. It’s one thing to use a public office to conduct shady deals, but these guys are now placing you, the public at risk over personal delusions. Mullins and Cameron need to be voted out, yesterday. Mullins has already publicly expressed, “Flagler county is a TRUMP county. Love it or leave!” as well as “Rather it be a bus, train or plane we can accommodate. And send them to a Part of the world that already welcome socialism.” This is what you are up against folks. VOTE THEM OUT.
Wow, Mr Snyderman from the Health Dept did not have the system in place to get Cynthia Corventino tested for nine days but he wants the County to follow his lead ?
What is needed is someone with a brain to provide and have Mr Lord put in place a policy to isolate the people that are at severe risk if they get this respiratory virus and let the rest of us go back to normal. That may upset Dr. Bickeldoom as the only time I have seen him smile in our paper is this Chi Com Flu pandemic. Just as a point of reference there is a pandemic every year it’s normally called the Flu Season ! The mortality rate comparison with other years will be very telling. The specific categories will be worthless because I hear if you go skydiving and forget your chute the death certificate will say COVID19. The beach closure now that the spring breakers are gone must be the “genius” of Chairman Sullivan who is bumping up on EIGHTY YEARS OLD. Did Sullivan get a special pass from Snyderman to be on the loose ? We truly have the blind leading the blind . But it is nice to see that Volusia finally got something important right when they opened their beach a week ago.
Quido Poncini says
Foolish decision. Simple as that.
Great job opening up the parks. Let’s go a bit farther and open up the beaches.
Proud American says
Please!!! Residents only and social distancing guidelines. We have plenty of room to allow us all to BREATHE
The powers that be have no value for human life. Everyone needs to contact the Governor’s Office to complain.
Bings supposedly has been “closed.” It has, however, been packed with boat trailers on the weekends. Hopefully those who used the boat ramp were social distancing.
As for reopening—whatever Trump says, Desantis will agree with it, as will Joe Mullins.
Mr Chris says
I have been to Walmart, Publix, Winn Dixie, Home Depot and the post office. I dont see where a visit to a park would put anyone in more danger than any of those places.
Finally, a person with COMMON SENSE……. THANK YOU !!!!!
Will Cameron be one to check people at these areas? Time for him to protect the public and not the whiney a$$es.
Don Appignani says
It appears the idiot Mullins is taking a cue from the idiot in Washington who is completely incompetent, untrustworthy and outright dangerous. And if I don’t support these people then I’m the one who is supposed to leave? These people have to go. Remember this in November.
John Stove says
Another example of one solitary decision maker thinking he/she knows better than others. The County Administrator’s arrogance is on full display by not including, let alone consulting, with other partners or stakeholders (Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Bunnell).
What magical information does he alone have that makes him think this is ok?…..Health Care experts are telling him this is a bad idea and will lead to more exposure to virus.
People like this are exactly the same as those who claim to “have it under control”…..”its a hoax”……”I take no responsibility” etc etc Sound familiar?
Let’s face it everyone. Our numbers are low because only a fraction of the population have been tested. This talk about the Apex being pushed back to May is nonsense. They truly have no clue. They are giving it their best guess. If you use the Navy ship, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, as an example, 60% of our population could be asymptomatic infected carriers. That means almost 70,000 people are walking around this county with the virus. These people are going to Walmart, Publix, getting gas, etc.. First we were told we didn’t need masks, now we are told we have to have them on the public. This is a moving target, and no one really knows when or how it ends. Is the safest thing to keep everybody home and everything closed down? Of course. Does that guarantee you won’t get it? No. I read a story of a woman that hadn’t left her house in three weeks and she contracted Covid19. Being outdoors in the open is probably the safest place to be. Allowing people to be at the beach, and parks, and on the trails should be contingent upon them abiding by all of the social distancing guidelines. It will be a challenge for law enforcement because there’s always people who break the rules. It’s a tough call but I think the County is on the right path with this trial. I applaud all the government officials on either side of this decision or doing what they think is best. Don’t forget we may have second, third, fourth waves of this thing. They could be even more intense. We have to find a way to keep country running. We can’t just keep sending out checks.
Here Spot says
100 % correct……………..Thank You for you opinion and much needed COMMON SENSE
Nicholas P Rusiniak says
Is County vs. City is more about control vs. resident health ?
It appears the city thinks that if a trail or park is open we the people are too stupid to not maintain social distancing.
You have to open sometime. Gradually opening and a constant reminder to not congregate, keep 6ft minimal distance, wear a mask.
These are the things perhaps for a year.
County and city leaders should spend their efforts on getting testing for all. Work with business on how to safely open vs. stay closed.
I see people going into Hobby Lobby. Is that safer than a walk in the park. Appears inconsistent to me.
check your facts says
Hobby Lobby is closed and has been closed.
As long as people wear protective masks and socially distance, this is fine. Considering the county has not been given permission to test those under 65 (that aren’t health care workers or first-responders), who know how many cases are really here in this city. Perhaps many of us were infected in March when there was a wave of illness moving through the city but people never received a test because they didn’t qualify. Perhaps none of us were and social distancing is keeping us safe. We’ll never know. Antibody tests? Please, we’ll never see them. It’s a pipe dream thinking this country can get its act together and test everyone either for COVID or for antibodies.
At least with the new White House recommendations, they encourage those that are working from home to continue that practice until basically the infection rate is zero. Many offices here, especially the one where I work, are crammed without the ability to socially distance. I have nine people within six feet of my cubicle. It is NOT a safe environment at all and I hope they adhere to the guidelines suggested because if not, workers can invoke OSHA. They already are in some work places, like those meat factories, where social distancing isn’t possible. Employers can get into serious trouble if they violate OSHA and in this day and age of COVID, an inability to keep employees safe, especially those with underlying health conditions, is applicable.
Where I work, we couldn’t socially distance if we wanted to as we simply do not have the space. It is impractical to wear a mask all day to work, as people need to drink. The moment you touch your mask and remove it, you risk infecting you or others. Then there is cleaning. Someone would have to clean religiously all bathrooms and work areas and where I work, we are lucky if someone cleans the bathroom once a week. The same leaf was on the floor in a bathroom stall for over a week. It never moved. It was never mopped up. I took a picture of it every day until the floor was cleaned. It sat there for nine days. It took nine days for them to clean the bathroom floor. I try not to think about it because you have to use the bathroom. I also try not to think about the people that constantly come in sick, coughing and sneezing and not covering their mouths. I do not trust my employer can keep me safe since I have an autoimmune issue. I fear the minute I step in there, I will be the next one hospitalized or die in this county. I really hope they honor the new guidelines and allow us to continue working from home until it is safe to return to the petri dish.
Hate to tell you but the walking/biking trails have never closed. Just a few days ago the trail that runs parallel to Royal Palms was full of walkers and bikes. Numerous vehicles were parked across and next to the Fire Station and walkers and runners were parking and using that trail. Also in Pine Lakes the walkway is heavily used by walkers, runners and bikes. So why not open the parks and beach.
Concerned Citizen says
Much to soon.
Pandemics are not usually a one and done. Look at the Spanish Flu. The first wave came thru Peaked and the curve was flattned. Protective measures were loosened. Then bam weeks later it resurges. Killing more people than the first round.
And if that’s not enough to worry about reports are leaking from China. First round victims who thought they were recovered are turning up positive again.
Florida had such a half ass lock down and everyone else is selfishly ignoring stay home. How do you think that’s going to turn out for us?
This a ridiculous move! Which of you county officials is going to monitor adherence to the rules? I was proud of our county for taking this pandemic seriously and for taking a stance to protect our citizens, but this half-baked move makes me lose all respect for you! And you’ve lost my vote as well.
Palm Coast Walker says
I walked 5 miles on St. Joe’s Walk. Almost no one wore a mask. When passing people going in the opposite direction, people stayed a good distance from each other.
Proud American says
Why is that those that are so concerned about their health can’t stay home and AVOID the parks? Why is that you feel you have a right to control others?
If a family of four wants to go outside in the fresh air why is it a problem to you? STAY HOME and don’t go to the parks if YOU don’t want to. Do not impose your own opinions on others.
Why is that liberals/democrats feel they have the right to tell others how to live?
Did you know when you go to the supermarket you are exposed to more germs than you are at the park?
Stay home if you want to. This does not force you to have to go there but let’s others decide for themselves if they want to!!!
Open the beaches too!!!!
Maria Darcy says
I agree with you 100%! I am really getting fed up with the fear based population. This virus is out there, may come back, they may also get the flu, they may get in a car accident, catch a cold, etc….Enough already…
Exercise and a little fresh air is more beneficial than staying cooped in your house 24/7, lacking proper vitamin D, breathing in stagnant recirculated air, possible mold, fragrances and chemicals from cleaning products. Not to mention what it does to mental health. One mental health phone line has seen an 891% spike in calls! The same people on Flaglerlive that were complaining about the high suicide rate in Palm Coast are the ones whining about people riding bicycles or taking a drive. I have never heard of so many miserable retirees living in one community. Why are they so angry all.the.time? If you don’t want to go outside, then don’t. If you are terrified about parks being reopened then I really hope you haven’t stepped foot inside Walmart, Publix, or any other store in the past month.
Carol Anne says
All the food place you mentioned do delivery and pick up so no need to go in if your uncomfortable.
You want fresh air ,some exercise and spring colors? Go for a walk down the street you live on.
Dont be selfish, help others by staying home. Is it really that hard? Do people really hate their famalies and homes that much that they are willing to be selfish and self absorbed? Are people that insecure of their freedons that they cant do whats right for others?
Proud American says
It’s called I love my family and going to the park and the beach is how we spend time together on the weekends all the time.
Also when we have gone prior to this Covid, the parks were empty And when busier plenty of room to still be on our own and away from others.
I’ve walked up and and down my own street everyday since March 12th.
Don’t be selfish, Can’t you stay home, and let me do what I want to do?
I’m not asking you to come or to go.
Do what YOU want, and let me do what I want!
How is walking down the street any safer than walking on the beach, trails or a park? Especially with the drivers around here that shouldn’t be behind the wheel in the first place. And it has nothing to do with hating family, most of this is about family activities outside.
Maria Darcy says
Facepalm, I agree with you! How are we being selfish? We have been shut in for weeks and they still want to call the shots! Watch what happens when small businesses are gone, mortgages go behind, we return to 2008/09 economy, crime will increase, as well as suicides, child abuse and divorce will increase, where will these control freaks be then? How selfish will they be? How much cash will they lend/give/donate????
Weldon B. Ryan says
Governing should not cause lives! Unfortunately this political posturing will be the doom of this country! These jerks have to be voted out because they are demonstrating that it’s not about their citizens.
Proud American, you make some valid points. This liberal democrat also believes transmission could most definitely be higher inside contained buildings. And that being outside is far healthier. But l don’t believe that my rights as an American supersede those of anyone. Certainly not the majority. And most definitely not those of our health professionals, who should be the only consideration at this time. I, and many others, on both sides of the aisle support them best, by staying healthy. Peace. Breathe. We’ll get through this.
Carol Anne, pedestrians are more likely to be struck by a car in Florida than in any other state. So if you think I’m being selfish for wanting my children to walk on a nature trail instead of the road, so be it. You are the one being selfish in my opinion. Over 320 million people in the US are quarantining for the sake of 11 million people who are possibly at risk for more serious COVID-19 complications, and you don’t even want them to have the small respite of a park or trail.
Yall park goers have fun. I will be staying at home, painting rooms, with plenty of food and drinks and that fancy white rolled stuff to get by for 2 more months. I might need more toilet paper though LOL, Be safe think about your families if you even have any living with you.
It’s truly amazing how most posters are making this pandemic into a political hack job. This virus could have happened under Democratic control and most would be blaming them too. It doesn’t matter who’s running the country, we all have to come together, stop bickering and allow our leaders to lead us out of this pandemic. Nothing in this world is perfect, yet those who sit behind a computer find time to do nothing but complain. Chances are, they are the same miserable people you come across on a daily basis when everything is going well.