The news we have been waiting for has arrived!

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Historic City News subscribers, after monitoring the local impact of Governor DeSantis’ Safer at Home Order and our community’s willingness to adhere to the CDC guidelines of social distancing and group size, we have developed and implemented a phased reopening approach for St. Johns County in collaboration with the City of St. Augustine, the City of St. Augustine Beach, and local health care and law enforcement agencies.

The first phase includes opening beaches from dawn to dusk for all uses and activities, opening libraries for curbside pickup from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and opening the St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier to the public with no access fee. For the time being, all recreational facilities, recreational programming, on-beach driving, the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, and the St. Johns County Pet Center remain closed. Governor DeSantis also announced that State parks be open to the public on Monday.

As St Johns County continues to adhere to the CDC social distancing guidelines of limiting gatherings to no more than 10 persons and maintaining a minimum distance of six feet between parties and following Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-112 outlining Florida’s plan for recovery, our community can take steps to reopen and move forward. As we prepare to initiate Phase One on Monday, May 4, guidelines regarding the restaurant, retail, and other business operations can be found on our website.

We are also distributing Small Business Recovery kits containing one box of 50 gloves, one box of 50 disposable masks, and one bottle of hand sanitizer to assist local employers in providing a safe and healthy environment for employees and customers upon reopening. Businesses must be registered to receive a kit and are limited to one kit per business. For recovery kit application information or to register, please call the Business Assistance Hotline at 904.209.6050 or email ppe@sjcfl.us.

The St. Johns County Emergency Operations Center remains open at a Level Two partial activation with the hotline open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Our next special meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 5, where we will address the Local State of Emergency that is currently in effect. The regularly scheduled meeting will follow at 9:00 a.m.

Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 Hotline – 904.824.5550

FL Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center – 1.866.779.6121

FL Department of Health St. Johns County – 904.209.3250

St. Johns County COVID-19 Information

Florida Department of Health

CDC COVID-19 Information

Email the FL Department of Health at COVID-19@flhealth.gov

As we proceed into the first phase of reopening St. Johns County, we are also continually evaluating all progress and medical data and will move forward when appropriate and possible.

We would like to thank all our residents and businesses for their cooperation and willingness to work with us on finding the best way to get St. Johns County back to a state of normalcy. As always, please do not hesitate to call or email any of us if you have any questions.