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Collier County beaches reopen with social distancing guidelines

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein

You could tell people were happy to be back at the beach to put their feet in the sand the ocean. Beachgoers were social distancing and hope everyone can continue follow the rules.

Surfing, frisbee, suntanning, you name it. All those activities were taking place Thursday, as Collier County beaches opened up for the first time in more than a month.

“I feel awesome,” Jackie Rosenberg said.

“This feels like life has restarted,” Tiffany Zukowski said. “I love it. It’s great to have fresh air again.”

Rosenberg made sure to save her best friend a spot in the sand.

“I put my umbrella over here six feet away because I’m waiting for my friend Kathy,” Rosenberg said.

And that’s exactly what the CDC recommends: Make sure you continue to social distance yourself.

A local doctor we spoke to says, as long as you are staying six feet apart, the beach is one of the safer places to be.

“You’re in the open air, so there’s circulation,” said Dr. Rebekah Bernard, the vice president of Collier County Medical Society. “And it’s not enclosed, which is more dangerous. Especially if there’s a breeze, the microdroplets that you are breathing out are going to be easily moved around away from other people.”

Bernard says, if you feel more comfortable, you can wear a mask on the beach. But you don’t have to.

Collier County parks and recreation says it’s happy to see the rules being followed and hope visitors that come can also follow the guidelines.

“We hope to serve the locals,” said Berry Wiliams, the Collier County parks director. “We know we are a tourist destination, and tourism is strong here. Certainly, anyone is welcome to the beach whether you are a resident or a visitor.”