We may be in the middle of a pandemic, but some things are slowly going back to normal.

Earlier in the week, President Trump announced that each state must decide separately on when restrictions will be lifted.  According to Mayor Lenny Curry of Jacksonville, FL as of 5 pm on Friday evening, the public is allowed to head to Duval County beaches for ‘essential activities only.’

On Thursday, Mayor Curry said that there is evidence to prove they are flattening the curve and ‘this can be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life.’ 

Although the decision to reopen beaches has been frowned upon, the amount of cases in Duval County has decreased from 43 on April 13th to only 17 on April 15th. The number of patients hospitalized has stayed the same. 

Florida State has had a death toll of 668 as of Thursday and more than 23,300 COVID-19 cases.

The reopening of the beaches allows residents to swim, surf, walk, run, fish…etc. while practicing social distancing. Activities including more than 50 people are still banned.  Lifeguards will not be on duty.

Within minutes of reopening, Jacksonville residents quickly took to the beach to partake in outdoor activities.