Bergosh Says He Would Likely Support Reopening Beaches April 2; Lanza Calls For Time In The Sun

March 25, 2020

Escambia County Commissioner Jeff Bergosh voiced support Wednesday for reopening the beaches in Escambia County as the director of the Escambia health department promoted time in the sun as a healthy thing.

Bergosh said he voted last week to close the beaches based upon a letter commissioners receiving calling for the closure from the CEOs of the three local hospitals and Dr. John Lanza, director of the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County. Lanza later said he was not authorized by the state to sign the letter.

During a “Coffee with a Commissioner” livestream from Bergosh’s office, Lanza said he recommends 10-15 minutes a day outside in the sun to allow the body to generate vitamin D, which in turn will boost immunity. He cautioned about spending too much time in the sun without proper sunscreen. He did not directly call for reopening the beaches.

Bergosh later said he was going to have a hard time voting to keep the beaches closed when the commission meets again on April 2.

Both cautioned that no matter their location, citizens should follow the CDC guidelines that call for no more than 10 people in a gathering.

The inability of people at the beach to follow the CDC guidelines was a problem at the beach, Escambia County Administrator Janice Gilley said.

“I think it’s sad that as a society we could not trust people to follow that under 10 directive,” Gilley said. “I think that’s what we heard from the health care professionals last week. For the protection of all, we are asking you to keep in small groups. Because there was a thought that we as a society could not guard and manage ourselves, we took away an amazing fantastic benefit that we just heard a professional (Dr. Lanza) say is good for you…a beach.”

Pictured: (L-R) Dr. John Lanza, Janice Gilley and Jeff Bergosh during an early morning “Coffee with the Commissioner” livestream. Image for, click to enlarge.


15 Responses to “Bergosh Says He Would Likely Support Reopening Beaches April 2; Lanza Calls For Time In The Sun”

  1. mike on March 27th, 2020 9:08 pm

    yeah, open the beaches back up, but only to young, healthy adults with spending money. the old and sick should be barred, along with children. no families with their infectious little rugrats until this bug freakout is over, if it ever is over. :D

  2. Lizzie on March 27th, 2020 7:47 pm

    Will you all be able to handle a double dosing of another outbreak? Let’s go above and beyond to truly get rid of this thing before appeasing people, opening up the beach just so someone that’s asymptomatic that wasn’t tested but has the virus causes more early demises. Use your common sense please!! It’s not all about the money cause if people continue to die, businesses will surely suffer at a greater level than they have already.

  3. David on March 27th, 2020 3:23 pm

    Crazy over the mighty dollar that always comes before the health and safety of people.

  4. John Reading on March 27th, 2020 10:37 am

    The beach coming back online will become the MOST important thing for commissioners pretty quickly and the rest of county services may suffer as second connsiderations.

  5. Plain Country on March 27th, 2020 9:24 am

    The mighty dollar comes before peoples health.

  6. Just saying on March 27th, 2020 12:20 am

    Like the Mayor on Jaws.

  7. Dwn on March 26th, 2020 6:35 pm

    More like “Coffee with the Fools”.

  8. E Z on March 26th, 2020 4:45 pm

    To Concerned Observer – it is more like Jaws and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. “there is no harm in just me and my kids going to the playground/beach. Then someone sees them and yells the playground/beach is open and all rush in. Then the poor playground/beach is destroyed.

  9. Yellarhammer on March 26th, 2020 11:41 am

    The wealthy could care less about stay @ home. They want to play at all cost and don’t care about anybody.

  10. Seems about right on March 26th, 2020 9:05 am

    They will open it up just to get the bed tax. Schools are out and people will flock to the beach. What about the workers that will have direct contact with thousands of different people’s garbage and direct contact with public restroom cleanings? To think that people will stay separated is just crazy, but the Commisioners will not be dealing with it so it doesn’t matter.
    I guess they want a full blown community outbreak.

  11. Debbie on March 26th, 2020 8:12 am

    I have been reading where people living in the hotspot areas are escaping the cities. Aren’t you concerned that may happen here if you reopen the beaches too soon (April 2nd)?

  12. Joniqua on March 26th, 2020 12:00 am

    We should keep the beaches closed as long as the schools are. If not, parents and kids will flock to them to give them something to do. Then we’ll just have crowds again, which we don’t need.

  13. diane banks on March 25th, 2020 6:57 pm

    People can get sun in their back yard. Please keep gathering places closed until it is safe to open. Once they open then you have opened the door for other places and why not? We need people to understand stay home, enjoy your family. I feel opening the beaches is a profit/money think and is nothing about health issue for the sun…People were not in groups of 10 from pictures on the TV…. I hope people take note of who watches after our county and who does not when an election comes up. My thoughts and do not have to be your thoughts so I do not need a back and forth over my comment.

  14. Concerned Observer on March 25th, 2020 6:56 pm

    This sounds like the same thing the town leaders said in Jaws…

  15. Scooter on March 25th, 2020 6:30 pm

    Well, I hope Steven Barry isn’t this big of an idiot if he wants my vote.

    I DO agree though, it would be nice if people followed guidance. How ignorant is it though to still expect that to happen? Has Bergosh been in a different dimension for the last few weeks?

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