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Town Closes Beach and Boardwalk Effective Saturday, March 21st at 5:00 p.m.
EMERGENCY ORDER CLOSING THE BEACH AND BOARDWALK IN THE TOWN OF BETHANY BEACH DUE TO A THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH
WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, Governor John Carney declared a state of emergency in Delaware due to the serious public health threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and on March 21, 2020, modified the Declaration to close all Delaware beaches and grant stricter authority to local officials; and
WHEREAS, the Governor’s Declaration noted that the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services has determined that it is vital to prepare for possible community transmission of the COVID-19 virus and to take steps to avoid such transmission; and
WHEREAS, the average age of the residents of Bethany Beach is sixty-seven (67), a population that is especially vulnerable to the potentially deadly effects of the COVID-19 virus; and
WHEREAS, since schools closed in Delaware and other states and more people have been allowed to work from home because of the COVID-19 crisis, Bethany Beach has experienced a summer-like influx of non-resident property owners, families and visitors, thereby significantly increasing the risk of transmitting and spreading the virus among themselves and others in our community, including the most vulnerable in our population; and
WHEREAS, the declarations, warnings and advice from national and state officials and public health professionals have not been sufficiently effective in ensuring voluntary compliance in protecting against the transmission and spread of the COVID-19 virus in Bethany Beach; and
WHEREAS, the beach and boardwalk areas of Bethany Beach have attracted large numbers of people congregating and socializing in those areas, without regard to “social distancing” and other widely publicized advice of public health officials, thereby increasing the risk of infection among themselves and others; and
WHEREAS, limiting the transmission and spread of the COVID-19 virus and protection of everyone in our community, especially the most vulnerable, is a paramount responsibility and duty of the Town government of Bethany Beach.
NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to Article VII, Section 223-16 of the Town Code of Bethany Beach, I have determined, as Town Manager, that the present conditions on the beach and boardwalk, as described herein, pose a potential risk to the public health in Bethany Beach; and, further, that the beach and boardwalk should be temporarily closed during the COVID-19 emergency.
ACCORDINGLY, pursuant to Section 223-17 of the Town Code of Bethany Beach, it is hereby ordered that no unauthorized person shall be permitted on the beach or boardwalk within the Town limits of Bethany Beach, effective as of 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. This Order will remain in effect until rescinded. Violators are subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $200, in accordance with Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, Penalties, in the Town Code.