COCOA BEACH, Florida – The City Commission of Cocoa Beach voted on Tuesday to keep the beaches open on the 4th of July, allow alcohol on the beach, and keep public parking open on the 4th of July while beaches from Palm Beach County to Miami along Florida’s east coast are set to close during the Independence Day holiday due to a spike in COVID-19 cases across the Sunshine State.
Commissioner Karalyn Woulas, the most outspoken proponent of keeping the beaches open without restrictions asked, “How can we say that peoples’ behavior is attributed to a spike?”
Mike Miller, the most outspoken Commissioner for limiting beach attendance, suggested that the City should either shut down parking or limit the hours. “This is a generational thing,” said Miller. “The average age in new cases in the last 2 weeks in Brevard is 33.”
Cocoa Beach Mayor Ben Malik said that the numbers that matter to him are the number of hospitalizations and available hospital beds. “We’ve been cooped up for what 2-3 months, I’m sick of working from home. It sucks,” Malik said. “… We can’t afford another shutdown. We’re devastating this economy.”
Commissioner Skip Williams wanted to ban alcohol on the beach but was unsuccessful in having that restriction passed by the other Commissioners.
The Commission did pass an ordinance requiring groups to not exceed 10 people on the beach.