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Navarre Beach to close starting at midnight; all Santa Rosa restaurants to go pick-up only

Annie Blanks
Pensacola News Journal

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Santa Rosa County will close Navarre Beach and the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier beginning at midnight Friday, becoming the latest county to close the sand to beach-goers to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Don Salter confirmed the closures to the News Journal on Friday morning.

The county will also mandate that all restaurants in Santa Rosa County move to curbside pickup or delivery, beginning at midnight Monday.

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The county said at a news conference Thursday that it would not be closing the beaches. But Salter said the county had a change of heart after receiving urgent pleas from local medical professionals.

"We received a letter from all of the major hospitals asking us to close the beaches, and to only have curbside delivery from the restaurants," Salter said. "As we said yesterday, everything changes every day. So once we got that letter from the major hospitals, we made the decision."

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Neighboring Okaloosa and Walton counties also decided to close their beaches. Escambia County said Pensacola Beach will remain open as of Thursday.