BREAKING NEWS: Corpus Christi Closing Beaches Now
Crews began putting up blockades to beach access in Nueces County and Corpus Christi beaches Wednesday afternoon, July 15, in anticipation of an official announcment concerning beach closures expected at the daily 5 p.m. joint county/city news briefing in city hall.
The city will also be closing its eight regional parks to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
After a record 605 cases were reported on Tuesday, July 14, Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said she and other leaders in the area asked the General Land Office for guidance in how to restrict access and discourage out-of-town visitors for the foreseeable future. Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni said the city would follow suit by closing North and McGee beaches and eight of the city’s regional parks, including the Water’s Edge and Cole Park.
“It is not unreasonable at this point to restrict access to our beaches,” Canales said at the joint city/county daily news briefing July 14. “Last week was a nightmare, and it cannot go on anymore.”
Nueces County cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities due to COVID-19 surged last week, putting the Coastal Bend on the top of the charts for cases per capita.
The explosion in numbers made The New York Times on Saturday, July 11, in a story that explored reasons for the uptick. Data pointed its finger at tourism and the desire of Texans in particular to take day trips and short vacations to the nearest beach. Those tourists ate in restaurants, shopped in stores, and both spread and took home the virus.
Most likely, the beaches will be closed to vehicular traffic, with all access roads blocked off as they were for the Fourth of July and Easter weekends. This time, there will be no cutoff date.
“Once we get this public emergency taken care of, there will be a day when we call them (the General Land Office) back and say we are doing better again,” Canales said. “We look forward to better days, but they are not coming this week.”
She also called on the people of Nueces County to help by wearing masks, staying home, social distancing, and washing and sanitizing their hands multiple times a day.
“We have to make a change,” she said. “We are going to change the outcome of this pandemic by changing our actions. Some changes will be voluntary and some will come through leadership.”
To follow the latest news on COVID-19 in Corpus Christi, check the Corpus Christi Business News' COVID-19 Resource Page.
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