City of Sebastian Asks for Social Distancing or Parks, Boat Ramps Will Close

Riverview Park in Sebastian, Florida.
Riverview Park in Sebastian, Florida.

“Social distancing” is the main message that the City of Sebastian is emphasizing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, the FWC shut down the Sandbar and islands in Sebastian after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered boats to stay 50 feet away from one another.

Sebastian parks and boat ramps are still open, but city officials warn that they will be closed if people don’t practice the CDC guidelines of no more than 10 people in a group, and each person must stay within 6 to 10 feet from one another.

“We would ask that everyone, please be aware of social distancing, and we need to remember that the only way we can help to slow this pandemic is to do whatever we can to remain calm, do not congregate if at all possible,” City Manager Paul Carlisle told Sebastian Daily.

Carlisle said it’s important to slow the coronvirus and is asking all residents over the age of 65 to stay home and only go out for essential items.

“We have kept parks, boat ramps, and the golf course open with restrictions, but if people do not self-isolate, we may have to make a change. All residents over 65 per the CDC guidelines should stay at home and only go out for essential items,” Carlisle said.

“Let’s all work together during this time to do whatever we can to help prevent the spread of this pandemic. It is up to us to make a difference in the final outcome,” Carlisle added.

Mayor Ed Dodd is warning residents of scammers who may be going door-to-door in our community.

“It’s important to remember that no legal testing is being done door-to-door, so if someone saying they are doing testing comes to your house call Sebastian Police at 772-589-5233 option ‘0’. Also, please understand that Sebastian is coordinating our response with County and State authorities who have the legal authority to enforce the orders of the Governor. Stay home, stay safe, and help your neighbor,” Dodd told Sebastian Daily.

Councilman Jim Hill said the city officials are continually communicating with the county and state to ensure the safety of residents in Sebastian.

“I can assure you that the city is in good hands. We are constantly communicating with the county, local municipalities, and the state government to make sure that all efforts are being taken to ensure the safety of our citizens. In this State of Emergency, everyone is on edge and very concerned as they should be. I can only assure you that we are taking the best advice from the experts as to how we should proceed,” Hill told Sebastian Daily.

Councilman Damien Gilliams suggested that the City of Sebastian have an emergency backup plan in case the coronavirus gets out of hand.

On March 9, 2020, Gilliams asked Carlisle to check into local hospitals and walk-in clinics to make sure they have plenty of testing kits available to the community and that the city has a plan with the police department in place that’s ready to be activated.

On March 24, 2020, Gilliams asked Carlisle to get advice from scientists and doctors.

“Please try to surround yourself with scientists and doctors in making your decisions do not listen to politicians,” Gilliams asked Carlisle in an email.

Earlier this week, Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital announced it was offering drive-through testing by appointments from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

On Friday, the Sebastian River Medical Center announced it was offering virtual visits on designed to mitigate the spread of the disease and ease concerns of going to the doctor’s office.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland. When he was age 9, his parents moved to Jupiter, Florida. Andy spent several years at various radio & television stations in Florida such as WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. In 1994, Andy made a career change to computer programming and worked for several technology companies (two are Fortune 500) in Atlanta, Georgia. However, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2002. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.