BY MARIE PULEO | LIGHTHOUSE POINT NEWS REPORTER
UPDATED on April 29 at 4:50pm with new information released by the City regarding the reopening of the Lighthouse Point Tennis Center and additional guidelines for using Frank McDonough and DeGroff Parks.
LIGHTHOUSE POINT PARKS UPDATE: As part of the phased plan to reopen Florida amid the coronavirus pandemic, Broward County announced on Monday it would issue an order to gradually start reopening, on a limited basis, certain county parks, natural areas, boat ramps, marinas, golf courses and residential pools. The county order took effect on Wednesday, April 29, and coincides with similar orders in Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County.
Lighthouse Point Mayor Glenn Troast issued an executive order on Tuesday outlining which outdoor recreational activities would resume in the city starting on April 29, and which would remain prohibited. On Wednesday, the City announced that the Lighthouse Point Tennis Center will reopen at the beginning of May.
The recreational activities that have resumed must follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including social distancing requirements and the limited size of gatherings.
WHICH LIGHTHOUSE POINT PARKS AND FACILITIES WILL OPEN AND WHICH WILL REMAINED CLOSED?
Frank McDonough Park will be open during daylight hours for passive uses only. The playgrounds, basketball courts, volleyball courts and picnic areas will remain closed.
Dan Witt Park will remain closed until further notice. Dan Witt Park may be reopened at a future date upon approval of the City Administrator or Mayor without the need for a subsequent order.
Exchange Club Park, which is located in Pompano Beach, will remain closed until further notice, based on an agreement with the Pompano Beach mayor.
DeGroff Park, effective April 30, will be open to the public between 9am and 5pm for passive uses only. The beach area will remain closed. No fishing is allowed.
All bike racks, water fountains and bathrooms at city parks will remain closed.
In addition to the mayor’s executive order, the City issued a separate set of guidelines on Wednesday for the use of Frank McDonough Park and DeGroff Park.
Users of the parks must practice physical distancing of a minimum 6 feet, and wear a face covering if within 6 feet of someone not in their household.
No groups of 10 or more will be allowed in the parks, and a minimum of 50 feet must be maintained between all groups.
Use of the two parks must be kept to a maximum of 1-2 hours.
At both parks, no recreational programming, pick-up games, organized sport or activities will be allowed. On the fields at Frank McDonough Park, sports such as soccer, football, lacrosse and baseball will not be allowed, and no sports training with cleats will be allowed.
Any misuse of the parks should be reported to the Lighthouse Point Police Department (954-942-8080).
LIGHTHOUSE POINT TENNIS CENTER
The order executive issued by the mayor on Tuesday stated that all tennis and similar racquet sports, such as pickle ball, would remain prohibited until further notice, but that facilities for these sports could be reopened upon approval of the City Administrator or Mayor without the need for a subsequent order.
On Wednesday, the City announced that the Lighthouse Point Tennis Center will reopen on May 4 for daylight hours only, provided that CDC Guidelines, including all social distancing guidelines, are adhered to.
Players will need to check in at the window. The Pro Shop and pavilion will be closed to the public. For now, courts will be open to members and residents only, and no guests.
Courts will maintain 50% capacity with staggered court use. Court use will be for a maximum one-hour time limit, for both singles or doubles. Players can use the facility for one hour each day.
At this time, private lessons with no more than two participants will be permitted, but not group lessons, including mixers, round robins, live ball, or family tennis nights.
Anyone taking a lesson must not pick up the tennis balls. Tubes or hoppers will be disinfected after each lesson.
Players must maintain 6-foot physical distancing, cannot congregate on the court or sidelines, and must leave the tennis center immediately after completing play.
Players are encouraged to use hand sanitizer and masks, and must wear a face covering if they are within six feet of someone not in their household.
No demo rackets will available to members. Players must supply their own equipment, including tennis balls, and must bring their own drinks, as the water fountains will remain turned off. Restrooms will be open and cleaned throughout the day, but will be used at one’s own risk.
Payment must be in the form of a credit or debit card, not cash, and Amex cards are not accepted.
The use of residential pools was addressed in the mayor’s executive order. Pools at single-family and duplex residences can be used only by the residents.
Pools at multi-family residences can be used by residents only, subject to condominium association requirements, provided that all outdoor furniture, including pool chairs, is separated by at least six feet. All pool chairs, railings, gates, tables, showers and other equipment at the pool deck and pool must be sanitized on a regular basis. Occupancy of pool areas must be limited to 50% of capacity.
As per the order, all other privately owned pools or outdoor amenities must remain closed.
BOATING AND MARINE ACTIVITIES
Boating and marine activities will be governed by the new county order.
The county order states that boats must remain at least 50 feet apart at all times, and the roping or tying together of boats or vessels is prohibited.
Up to six people are allowed on boats measuring 25 feet or less, including four adult passengers, plus children 17 and under. Boats measuring 26 to 36 feet are allowed up to eight people (six adult passengers maximum). Boats measuring 37 to 60 feet are allowed up to 10 people (eight adult passengers maximum). Boats over 60 feet can have up to 10 passengers, inclusive of adults and children, but not including crew members.
Beaching, landing or anchoring of vessels on sandbars, islands or open shorelines is prohibited.
In areas where there are boat ramps, the new county order allows only one boat per launch ramp at a time.
No gathering of more than 10 people is allowed at any time during boat launch, during on-water time, and when removing the boat from the water. Launching venue staff, as well as customers, must practice social distancing and wear personal protective equipment, including facial coverings and gloves, in connection with use of marinas, boat docks, ramps and other launching venues.
For more information regarding COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) website