Submitted by Richard Bailey
Sound public policy is driven by data and observation, not misinformation and emotion.
The decision to keep Coronado beaches and parks open to limited-use is one that is in compliance with state orders and follows guidance issued by county medical officials.
While some other jurisdictions have decided to close down parks and beaches entirely to all people and all activities, we have taken a more measured approach based on the characteristics of our beach community.
The state of California recognizes the importance of fresh air and exercise which is why recreational activities are permitted under the “stay at home” order.
Rather than close the entire beach to all activities for everyone, the City of Coronado closed amenities where people tend to congregate — the parking lots, volleyball courts, fitness equipment, and fire rings. We also actively prohibit loitering. These actions were taken to minimize the risk of gatherings in a reasonable way.
However, just like Silver Strand State Beach, which remains open to the public for limited-use, the Coronado beach is open for walking and running or playing with your children separate from others.
Once other cities began closing their beaches and parks, there was concern that Coronado beaches would be inundated by visitors as one of just a few remaining beaches still open in the county.
Rather than shut down our beaches out of fear of what might happen, we decided to observe and monitor the situation. We observed the counts during the weekdays did not noticeably increase. The weekend visitor counts, while certainly higher in number than the weekdays, were not higher than we’d expect for a pleasant sunny weekend during “normal” times.
Even during the weekend, while there were some occasions where visitors were reminded about the no loitering policy, the vast majority of visitors were compliant with the social distancing guidelines.
I have personally walked the beach three times a day, each day this week, to observe the public’s behavior and effectiveness of our enforcement policy.
What I observed were moms and dads walking with their children. Friends out enjoying conversations while safely distances from one another. Individuals out for walks or runs and some fresh air.
It was encouraging to see just about everyone was compliant during each observation as the pictures below demonstrate. These pictures were taken during the afternoons between 12-4pm on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I’d like to give a special thanks to the dedicated lifeguards and police officers that are actively patrolling the beach to ensure it remains safe for us to enjoy with limited-use. Protocols are in place to minimize their risk as their health and safety is a priority for us as well.
I understand people are concerned. Our commitment, in addition to everything we’ve done over the past two weeks, is to continue monitoring the situation and making adjustments to our policy with the public’s best interests in mind based on data and observations.
Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey
In the interest of reducing the spread of COVID-19, members of the public are encouraged to submit their comments via voicemail by calling (619) 522-2642 or online at the following link: https://www.coronado.ca.us/cms/One.aspx?portalId=746090&pageId=16586977&fbclid=IwAR0VbgIPREC4W1RldQM7go-uISlmhg86h0RG_mCQHg9aUiJ1n0kPPJba8wc