Franklin County leaders decide to close beaches

Published: Mar. 22, 2020 at 4:16 PM EDT
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By:Brandon Spencer | WCTV Eyewitness News March 22, 2020 UPDATE 11:00 p.m.

Apalachicola, Fla. (WCTV) --

Sheriff A.J Smith says this initiative can make things a little easier for the Franklin County Sheriff's Office. The decision gives the sheriff’s office the ability to enforce the ruling making the penalty for gathering being a second degree misdemeanor.

“it’s not easy, you know its taking extra man power to do it. We’ve been working with the county, our county officials," said Sheriff Smith. "They’re been very easy to work with and cooperate with what we need to make sure that the county is safe.”

Sheriff smith goes on to say that the sheriff’s office is following CDC protocol and while patrolling and doesn’t want residents to be offended if officers keep their distance or don’t shake hands

This ordinance is set to end on march 27th, unless the board of county commissions move to extend it

The closures go into effect Sunday night at 12 a.m.

By: Jacob Murphey | WCTV Eyewitness News

March 22, 2020


A day after deciding to close public parking for beach access, Franklin County Commissioners decided Sunday to go a step further, closing all beaches.

Commissioners made the move at an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon. The emergency ordinance calls gatherings on the beach "a threat to the public's health, safety, and welfare and are likely to lead to the spread of the COVID-19 virus."

Penalty for gathering on the beach will be a second degree misdemeanor. The order gives the Sheriff's office the power to enforce the rule.

The ordinance will end March 27, unless extended by the Board of County Commissioners.

WCTV has a reporter in Franklin County. Look for the latest Sunday at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.