The City of Cocoa Beach is scheduled to declare a State of Emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic during a special City Commission meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at Cocoa Beach City Hall.
Seating at the Special Meeting will be limited to 38 people which includes Commissioners, Mayor, City Attorney, City Clerk, City Manager, Police Chief, Assistant City Manager, Communications Director, and Deputy Fire Chief.
The State of Emergency would empower the City to take actions necessary to protect public health and safety, including closures of public beaches, parks, restaurants, bars, or other public gatherings if conditions warrant such closures.
As pictured above, thousands of visitors continue to visit Cocoa Beach beaches because few other activities are available after the cruise lines shut down in neighboring Port Canaveral, Florida and the theme parks closed in nearby Orlando, Florida.
The influx of out-of-state tourists and Orlando daytrippers has alarmed several local residents that this increased activity from out-of-area visitors would spread the coronavirus in Cocoa Beach.
“I think that they are a concern when you have hundreds and hundreds of kids gathering like that,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said when asked about Florida’s beaches during a coronavirus press conference on Monday.
“And I think that some of the localities that have made those decisions were good. But I think that needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis. It’s not probably advisable to have Spring Break gatherings on the beaches. But to have folks with their own little family or something – I’m not sure that’s the most likely place where you would see a transmission.”
The first case of coronavirus in Brevard County was announced by the Florida Department of Health on Monday night, March 16, 2020.
Cocoa Beach Mayor Ben Malik said that he has been in repeated communications with U.S. Senator Rick Scott’s office and Congressman Bill Posey’s office to ask for federal aid for Cocoa Beach businesses and workers financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Ron Jon Surf Shop, which prides itself on being open 24 hours a day 365 days a year for decades, announced that it will close at the end of business on March 20 and remain closed through March 29.
“The health and well-being of our staff and customers are important to us … Our customers can continue to shop on ronjonsurfshop.com during this time. As this is an ever-changing situation we ask that you continue to check our website for the most current updates and store re-opening news.”