South Pointe Park Closure: Behind the Numbers

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

South Pointe Park Closure: Behind the Numbers:

Park by park detail on warnings, removals

Earlier this week Miami Beach made national (international?) news when the City closed South Pointe Park just five days after parks reopened following the COVID-19 shutdown after photos and videos surfaced on social media of crowds not practicing social distancing and people not wearing face masks. There were also reports of crude and hostile behavior directed at Park Rangers and other City employees attempting to enforce the rules announced prior to the reopenings. South Pointe Park was reportedly the scene of the most egregious behavior. On Sunday, the City closed the parking lot at South Pointe. On Monday, the park was closed.

The Miami Beach Police Department released the number of warnings citywide, however some reports attributed the numbers to South Pointe Park only.

Here’s the breakdown of the warnings which were all verbal. Asked how the warnings are counted, MBPD spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said in an email, “The Park Rangers jot the encounters on a notepad or a smart phone, whatever is easiest for them. The supervisor then compiles the info.”

According to Rodriguez, “These are the Projected Stats from the Park Rangers 4/29/20-5/3/20.” [Emphasis his.]
 
Flamingo Park
Wed-Sun, Staffed by 2 Park Rangers

Face Mask Warnings: 818
Social Distancing Warnings: 84
Visitor Removed: 269

South Pointe Park Stats
Wed-Thurs, Staffed by 2 Park Rangers
Friday, Staffed by 3 Park Rangers
Saturday, Staffed by 4 Park Rangers
Sunday, Staffed by 4 Park Rangers

Face Mask Warnings: 3,140
Social Distancing Warnings: 36
Visitor Removed: 523

Lummus Park Stats
Wednesday Staffed by 3 Park Rangers
Thurs-Sat, Staffed by 4 Park Rangers
Sunday, Staffed by 3 Park Rangers

Face Mask Warnings: 1,835
Social Distancing Warnings: 18
Visitor Removed: 652

North Beach Open Space Park Stats
Wed-Sun, Staffed by 2 Park Rangers

Face Mask Warnings: 1,320
Social Distancing Warnings: 173
Visitor Removed: 155

Beachwalk 41st - 67th Street
Wed-Sun, Staffed by 2 Park Rangers

Face Mask Warnings: 531
Social Distancing Warnings: 25
Visitor Removed: 16

Maurice Gibb Park & Boat Ramps
Wed-Fri, Staffed by 2 Park Rangers
Saturday, Staffed by 3 Park Rangers
Sunday, Staffed by 2 Park Rangers

Face Mask Warnings: 187
Social Distancing Warnings: 47
Visitor Removed: 187
Boats Launched: 82

According to Rodriguez, “These numbers do not reflect actions taken by supervisors and other City staff who are assisting in reducing the spread of COVID-19.”

Commissioner Ricky Arriola is sponsoring a resolution to reopen the Park “subject to the social distancing requirements” ordered by the County “and applicable CDC guidelines.” It is on Friday’s City Commission agenda.

Update: Beginning Monday, May 11 the park will be open Monday through Friday from 7 am until 8 pm. It will be closed on weekends. There will be one entrance to the park and anyone who enters must have a face covering (which can be removed for strenuous exercise within the park). No coolers, picnics, or gatherings of more than 10 people. Social distancing will be enforced. Commissioners also agreed to extend the hours for all open parks and green spaces including tennis centers to 8 pm.


Photo: South Pointe Park on Sunday, May 3, courtesy Frank Del Vecchio
 

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