Walton County closes public beaches

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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Walton County Commission closed its public beaches Thursday.

They took the action after a positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the county.

The patient is a non-Florida resident who tested positive in Walton County.

The Department of Health said they have begun a contact investigation, backtracking where the patient traveled in recent days.

The case has led residents to question how the county will be able to handle future cases, should they pop up. The DOH revealed that the county only has 28 ICU beds and 13 ventilators.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office will be charged with enforcing the beach closure.

“Walton County Sheriff’s Office is seeking voluntary compliance in this unprecedented time in our community. It is imperative for our constituents to understand the magnitude behind this decision and the resources it will take to enforce,” officials wrote in a news release. “While deputies will be doing their best to educate and mediate first, personal responsibility is essential during this time for the safety and health of our county.”

Normal operations will continue at the Sheriff’s Office as far as answering calls for service and continuing our commitment to serving our residents.

The agency is asking “for our community to come together to help spread this message.”

“The important thing to understand is that we are going to carry out our duties in a professional manner with an emphasis on customer service with a common-sense approach,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “It is our intent to continue to be good stewards of the public’s trust.”

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