By Susan Hardee Steger
March 20, 2020
Update: The Florida Park Service closed Fort Clinch State park in the early evening of March 20.
Fort Clinch State Park was one of the parks listed for possible closure if social distancing objectives are “not adhered to or achieved”
Fort Clinch State Park is the place to be for those self-isolating during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Having recently returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. where I watched the Coronavirus Pandemic unfold in an urban setting, I am practicing social isolation.
Paranoid? No. It just makes sense because I had dinner in crowded restaurants. I was in and out of cabs and airplanes, and I visited a family member whose young daughter was home while her daycare de-sanitized because a parent was a possible carrier. Here is what I learned on my trip to our beloved State Park.
Fort Clinch State Park is open, but the Museum, Visitors’ Center and the Fort is closed. The playground is also closed, but picnic areas are open as are bathroom facilities. Campers are being directed to leave the Fort by 1:00 p.m. today.
The limit on the number of people allowed into the State Park is lowered to approximately 350. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), ” . . . In order to implement the Governor’s directive to limit crowds on public beaches to less than 10, [perhaps groups no larger than 10?] effective March 19, DEP will be reducing the visitor capacity at State Parks with beaches and swimming areas. The department will actively evaluate the effectiveness of the reductions and will take additional actions if warranted up to and including park closures. Fort Clinch State Park was one of the parks listed for possible closure if social distancing objectives are “adhered to or achieved.”