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First Coast Connect

Petitions To Reopen Beaches; Telescope Health; Preventing Domestic Violence; Wild Florida

Heather Schatz/WJCT
Ponte Vedra Beach

The fight over sand, sea, and sun continues in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. But Northeast Florida beaches won't be reopening anytime soon.

Multiple organized efforts have advocated for the reopening of beaches throughout the region since closures began due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Jacksonville Beach and other Duval County beaches are staying closed,  Mayor Lenny Curry announced Tuesday, despite complaints.  At the time of Tuesday morning's broadcast, petitioners in St. Johns County we're still trying to get their beaches reopened, although the St. Johns County Comission also decided Tuesday to keep them closed in an online video  meeting.

Surfers have a beef with the logic being used. They don’t understand why golfing has been labeled an essential activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, but their sport is not. 

We spoke to some of these petitioners such as Gregg Matson, of Fort Caroline, who started the petition asking Governor DeSantis to make surfing an “essential” activity and Chris Tincher of St. Augustine. He co-wrote the petition asking the St. Johns County government to reopen area beaches to residents on a limited basis.

Related: Local, State And National Coronavirus Coverage

Telescope Health

The telemedicine company Telescope Health is a fast-growing virtual platform helping thousands of local patients get screened for COVID 19. We spoke with the founders of the company about how the screening process works, along with the growth of telemedicine in the midst of a pandemic.

Domestic Violence

The current “safer at home” orders much of the nation is living under are meant to - yes - keep us all safe. But if you’re living with an abusive partner, being stuck at home can be a dangerous situation.

Domestic violence has been spiking recently. How can people get help as we all socially distance? Joyce Mahr, CEO of the Betty Griffin Center in St. Johns County and Teresa Miles, Executive Director of the Women’s Center of Jacksonville joined us with more.

Wild Florida

One easy way to de-stress amid this pandemic is to enjoy nature. But you might be wondering, how do we do that if parks are closed? Master Naturalist Lisa Grubba joined us with some ideas for you as part of Tuesday's Wild Florida. Some of her ideas include scenic drives and birdwatching.

Peter Hoban can be reached at, 904-358-6317

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Peter was an intern with WJCT during the 2020 spring semester from the University of North Florida, where he is majoring in communications.