We are among unprecedented times regarding the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We recognize many of you have closed or plan to close as the Commercial District of Seaside is also closing. In our letter to owners and merchants we expressed our decision was based on making health and safety a priority. You may not know that many of our neighboring communities have made announcements, following suit; including St. Joe Club & Resorts, Alys Beach with more neighbors pending. Seaside led the stance based on several consultations with infectious disease professionals.
Many of our merchants were seeking leadership due to fear of infection. Nearly 100% of those merchants have expressed gratitude, as the decision alleviated moral dilemma. Several merchants have already closed their doors including Ophelia, Sundog Books, Central Square Records and all five Seaside Associated Stores. Some of our food and beverage offerings have already changed their services to take out only. Soon you will see the common area seating in front of Airstream Row removed and common area seating around town made unavailable. Public restrooms will close on March 21, 2020. We are attempting to discourage gathering.
To-go food and beverage options will remain open unless otherwise closed by State or Federal Government. This is a standard across the country in areas infected. As you are aware, this is a fluid situation; we are tirelessly monitoring and communicating.
Unfortunately, we are not all aligned about health and safety of our guests. It has come to our attention that there is an effort to encourage tourism, support gathering and shopping; business as usual mentality. This is an explicit contrast to the message opposing our decision to close Seaside Commercial District. If you are unaware of how infectious this virus is, opposition is understandable. If you are aware of the facts, your decision to actively market that some shops are open – some beach accesses are open – you’re risking your lives and the lives of others. It is true we all will suffer financially from this unfortunate situation. We are taking steps to be of aid to those who comply and make health and safety a priority.
We hope that if you were on the fence about opening or closing for business, we emphatically encourage you to make the decision to close.
There has never been a more critical time to have one message: health and safety are the priority to Seaside.
Kerri Parker, Executive Director of Communications (SCDC)
(850) 231-6106 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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