March 15, 2020
Fort Lauderdale beach to close,
additional coronavirus measures enacted
Today, the city of Fort Lauderdale acted in concert with the city of Miami Beach to take additional measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. We join together because of the need to address the large Spring Break crowds gathered in both communities.

Last night, Gov. DeSantis and state health officials announced that positive cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. The state of Florida now has more than100 cases, a third of which are in Broward County.

The number of local cases has tripled since Friday and now includes adults of all age ranges and people with no travel history. Health officials indicate these are signals that our community is now experiencing social spread of the virus.

If we are to continue to be serious about flattening the curve of the spread of the coronavirus, we have to take bold, yet responsible measures to limit large gatherings.

As I said on Friday, this is not a time to panic, nor is it a time to sit idly by. This is a time for clear and decisive action.

Beginning today and continuing through April 12, the city of Fort Lauderdale will close the dry sand portion of our public beach from Harbor Drive north to Oakland Park Boulevard. 

Closing our beaches decreases the amount of public safety resources needed to interact with the high-density Spring Break population. That reduces exposure for our police and first responders so they can continue to carry out their important life-saving duties should the situation become more widespread. It also increases social distancing, a key deterrent to the spread of the virus.

We are also requiring all bars and restaurants close at 10 p.m. In addition, all public gatherings of any type of more than 250 people will be prohibited with the exception of retail establishments, grocery stores, Broward County government, the Broward County School District, the North Broward Hospital District, and agencies of the state and federal government.

Bars and restaurants must operate at no more than 50 percent of their allowed capacity, again no more than 250 people total.

These measures are being put in place for the protection of our community, residents, visitors and employees in a continued effort to stay ahead of this pandemic and help stem the tide of its spread. 

These decisions were made in close consultation with surrounding communities – in particular Miami Beach. I would like to thank Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber for this coordinated approach. Both of our cities face similar challenges given the tremendous amount of national and international visitors we host this time of year.

I also spoke to Gov. DeSantis. He is supportive of these measures, and I appreciate his efforts on our behalf.

Let me emphasize that we are all in this together. The key to fighting the coronavirus lies with everyone doing their part to be responsible and supportive neighbors. Our strategy is to limit the spread of the virus by limiting public gatherings and practicing social distancing.

We must do everything possible to minimize crowds. Unfortunately, our beaches must be part of our plan. I want to be clear that this is not an overreaction, but a way for us to help stop further cases of coronavirus in our community. We must all do our part to save lives, and that includes protecting our residents, visitors and first responders.

We remind everyone that if you are concerned that you have been exposed to coronavirus, please call the Florida Department of Health in Broward County at 954-412-7300 and your healthcare provider before going to any healthcare facility.

If you have questions related to the coronavirus, please call the Florida Department of Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-779-6121 which is available 24 hours a day seven days a week or email

Additional information is also available at or .


How Does coronavirus Spread?
Coronavirus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets may land on objects and surfaces. Other people may contract coronavirus by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
Symptoms of coronavirus
Symptoms of coronavirus may appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
The CDC recommends taking everyday preventive actions, including:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then throw the tissue in the trash immediately.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, please seek medical attention.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.

CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for   health workers   and   people who are taking care of someone in close settings   (at home or in a health care facility).

Should I be tested for Coronavirus?
If you are concerned that you have been exposed to C\coronavirus, please call the Florida Department of Health in Broward County at  954-412-7300  and your healthcare provider before traveling to any healthcare facility.
For More Information
The Florida Department of Health has established a dedicated Coronavirus Call Center at  1-866-779-6121  that is available 24 hours a day seven days a week, as well as a dedicated email address at  which the public can use for questions or clarifications on issues related to the coronavirus.
For additional information regarding Coronavirus, please visit  or  or  .
Neighbors are encouraged to stay up to date by following the city on social media at:

Neighbors may also call the city’s 24-hour Neighbor Call Center at 954-828-8000.