POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Nature reserves, parks and government buildings are now closed to the public in Polk County as the coronavirus spreads and officials try to flatten the curve.
There are ten COVID-19 cases in Polk County, as of the latest update from the Florida Department of Health.
As of Saturday evening, all parks with playgrounds and recreational leagues, environmental lands and trails such as Fort Frasier, campgrounds, dog parks, the shooting range, History Center, Circle B Bar Reserve, Bone Valley ATV Park, Homeland Heritage Park and our resource centers are closed.
Cars were pulling into Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland all morning hoping to access it.
They were met with a padlocked gate and a sign that reads “temporarily closed until further notice.”
“I was stressed out. I thought, come out to Circle B and just let it go. I’ll have to do that in my backyard,” said Debbie Moore, who lives in Lakeland.
“Just to do something today, we decided on taking a bike ride. And here we are, parks closed,” said Charles Dellova, who lives in Lakeland. “They’re trying to make everybody safe. You just have to grin and bear it.”
“Especially since we can’t go to church, that kind of thing. There was hardly anybody here yesterday, no crowds. People that were here kept their distance so it’s really sad,” said Cheri Moore, who lives in Winter Haven.
Monday morning, all county facilities will be closed to public walk-in transactions.
Affected buildings include the County Administration Building, Frank Smith Building on Golfview Avenue in Bartow, Indigent Healthcare offices, Utilities Administration, Gil Jones and Lakeland branch facilities.
Customers can go online to pay bills and access development review and permitting procedures at https://www.polk-county.net/.
Trash pick-up will continue as normal. The landfill will remain open but delays are expected due to social distancing.