Hollywood will close all of its city-operated summer camps following the Fourth of July weekend.
The city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts announced Saturday that all camps will be closed starting Monday, July 6 until further notice. The announcement does not include private camps. The YMCA of South Florida, which operates a camp in Hollywood as well as in South Dade, Upper Keys, Aventura, Weston, Pembroke Pines and Hallandale Beach, has no plans to close its Hollywood camp or any others, said Tongelia Milton, executive director of communications.
“The decision to close the camps was made out of an abundance of caution, due to the increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in South Florida,” reads the city’s announcement.
Director Cory Styron, who oversees Hollywood’s parks and recreations department, could not be reached for comment in time for publication of this article.
On Friday, Florida saw another 9,448 confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to nearly 180,000 cases. Florida broke a record on Thursday with over 10,000 confirmed cases in a single day.
Miami-Dade County reported over 3,000 additional confirmed cases. Mayor Carlos Gimenez has responded to the rising numbers by rolling back some reopening measures, including closing casinos, strip clubs, movie theaters and other entertainment venues. Gimenez also implemented a 10 p.m. curfew starting Friday, exempting commuters and essential workers. Gimenez had previously closed county beaches and imposed restrictions on public and hotel pools for the Fourth of July weekend.
Patty Abril, assistant director of communications for the mayor, said Gimenez does not have plans to close summer camps across the county as of now. Summer camps reopened in the county nearly a month ago with social distancing and mask requirements in place.
Summer camps in Broward opened alongside Miami-Dade in early June. Broward reported over 1,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing its total to a little less than half of Miami-Dade’s.
Broward Mayor Dale Holness could not be reached for comment on whether he is considering closing summer camps in response to climbing numbers.
Whether other cities in both counties will follow Hollywood’s lead on their own is unclear.
City of Miami spokeswoman Stephanie Severino said that as of Friday, the city has no plans to close summer camps. Steve Losner, mayor of Homestead, said the city never opened its own summer camps, but there have been discussions concerning shutting down the private summer camps as well. Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said he didn’t know if the city will shut down its camps, but that it feels like “the carpet is being rolled back up.”
Some cities have been forced to close camps because of virus outbreaks.
Fort Lauderdale shut down its camp at Bass Park after discovering June 26 that one of the attending children tested positive for COVID-19. In its Friday COVID-19 updates, the city said a camp counselor is awaiting test results. City Manager Chris Lagerbloom did not respond to a request for comment about other city camps.
And on June 30, Bay Harbor Islands closed its summer camp program for two weeks as well as its town hall after an employee tested positive for the virus. Additionally, 22 city employees were told to self-isolate for 14 days.
Miami Herald staff writer Aaron Leibowitz contributed to this story.