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Destin lobbies closed; parks, beaches open as COVID-19 pandemic continues

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log
The Destin Log

Just as the numbers of COVID-19 cases is ever changing, so are the opening and closing of city facilities.

“The city of Destin’s highest priority is the safety of the public and our employees,” said public information manager Catherine Card in a news release.

And in an effort to keep people safe, the lobbies at Destin City Hall and the City Hall Annex have been closed to the public since early July.

In the last couple of weeks the Destin Library has closed to the public as well.

The library is offering curbside service Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“Staff will be available via phone to answer questions, provide assistance, and check out materials for curbside pickup,” Card said in a release.

With the children’s summer getting extended a few more weeks with the delay in school start, parents can request a “grab bag” of materials for youth to continue to participate in the Library’s Summer Reading Club.

Materials can be requested online at the library’s website or by phone at 850-837-8572.

The Destin Community Center, which canceled its annual Big Truck Day this past Friday, is also closed to the public as well, according to Lisa Firth, parks and recreation director.

"We are offering ’curbside’ drop off and pick up for 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for Kids Camp,“ Firth said.

Due to the late startup for school, the Kids Camp at the Community Center has been extended for the weeks of Aug. 10, 17 and 24 with curbside drop off.

As for youth soccer and football it will align with school sports.

Currently, the city is looking at a start date of Sept. 14 for youth soccer. In the meantime, registration has been extended to Sept. 5.

Practices will begin Sept. 14 with the first games scheduled to start Oct. 2.

Dalton Threadgill Little League Park is open for practices, but no fall games will be played until school begins.

The Adult Softball Leagues, which came to an abrupt halt in March due to COVID-19 after only a week of play, are starting back next week at Morgan Sports Center.

The Men’s Softball League will begin play Aug. 11 and Coed Softball on Aug. 12.

As of Monday, there were 14 teams signed up for Coed and four for the Men’s league.

“Everybody is chomping at the bit to play,” said Travis Bailey, who heads up the softball program for the city of Destin.

And that’s all it will be -- play. The city has plans to remove the bleachers from the fields to limit the number of people at the park. Plus there will be nobody coming upstairs at Morgan’s other than scorekeepers and officials, Bailey said.

Players will also be asked to sign a COVID-19 waiver before playing.

As for other parks in Destin, all outside parks and restrooms are open, according to Firth. Morgan’s Children Park and walking path is open.

The Buck Destin facility on Legion Drive remains open for senior Bingo and senior chair exercise and bridge.

Joe’s Bayou Boat Launch is open and has been busy, as well as the beaches, according to Firth.

“The city of Destin has and will continue to follow CDC and Florida Health Department protocols,” Card said in a news release.

For more information concerning city openings and closings, go to www.cityofdestin.com.