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People flock to beaches as other places across Tampa Bay shut down

Beaches were packed as people looked for other things to do after coronavirus concerns had other events postponed or canceled.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — With nearly every major event canceled or postponed this weekend, the beach became a go-to spot Saturday.

As parts of the world came to a stop, the pace at Clearwater Beach stayed steady, with full parking lots and tourists soaking up the sun.

“We were supposed to go to Disney, actually, the day they closed it,” Chuck Smithson told 10News. 

He and his family are in the area from Ohio and headed to the beach when they found out the park was closed – something that’s happened only a handful of times in the park’s roughly 50-year history.

“I’m shocked the beaches aren’t shut down. I mean we need something to do, other than sit inside, but I’m shocked the beaches aren’t shut down,” he said. 

Avoiding large gatherings can help manage the pandemic. Fewer people in one place can lead to fewer people getting sick and help limit the overall burden on the health care system.

“We take precautions, we have hand sanitizer on hand, we wipe everything down, we try to stay away from most people,” he said.

Local businesses on the beach said they were busy over the weekend, but said they didn't think it would last. 

“We’re already getting cancellations from travelers who are scared to get on planes,” Gregg Corder with Charter Boats Two C’s said.

RELATED: Events and locations in Tampa Bay shut down by coronavirus

RELATED: Disney World Resort closing due to coronavirus concerns

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