The Department of Environmental Protection will close all Florida State Parks to the public effective Monday, March 23. Governor Ron DeSantis gave the order Sunday, March 22 amid a rise of COVID-19 cases in the Sunshine State.
This is all in an effort to uphold CDC guidance to maximize social distancing and avoid gatherings larger than 10 people.
“DEP has taken many measures to continue providing resource recreation at our state parks during this time, such as limiting operating hours and reducing visitor capacity at parks with high visitation,” the organization wrote in a statement. “Unfortunately, this has not resulted in the reductions needed to best protect public health and safety as Florida continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
There are more than 1,000 cases now confirmed in the state according to the Florida Department of Health.
In neighboring Tampa, Mayor Jane Castor said that a mandatory stay-at-home order is likely this coming week for Hillsborough County.
Currently, all restaurants are takeout/delivery only. Gyms and fitness center have been shut down throughout the state, and many area restaurants have begun closing until further notice.
Florida State Parks in the Tampa Bay Region:
- Anclote Key Preserve State Park
- Alafia River State Park
- Skyway Fishing Pier State Park
- Honeymoon Island
Caladesi Island State Park
- Egmont Key State Park
Terra Ceia Preserve
- Fort Foster State Historic Site
- Hillsborough River State Park
- Little Manatee River State Park
- Ybor City Museum State Park