In recent weeks, the state, county and the city have all made decisions that affect the people of Gulfport. It started with 100 percent mandatory mask usage.
Now, no drinking at the public water fountains. It came as a shock to Gulfport residents early Wednesday, July 15. Signs taped around all public fountains read: “Temporarily Out of Order To Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19. Sorry for the Inconvenience.”
Many people are asking, “What about the pups?”
Without warning, many Gulfport residents found out about the shut off as they were walking their dogs throughout the day in the 90-degree heat. The City of Gulfport didn’t say much more on social media.
On July 15, at 1:08 p.m. the City of Gulfport posted on Facebook, “All publicly accessible water fountains in the City of Gulfport have been shut off today, Wednesday, July 15th, to help reduce the risk for COVID-19 spread. If you have any questions or for more information, please call 727-893-1000.”
When asked directly about the shut-off, City Manager Jim O’Reilly said, “In regards to the water fountains – the decision was made in expanding support of county-wide activities implemented to address the recent increase in COVID-19 cases identified within Pinellas County.”
The no drinking signs didn’t stop there.
“No Alcohol Ordinance 4-25” postings now line the waterfront along Shore Boulevard and Veteran’s Park.
Is this a new enforcement of the city’s public drinking ordinance? O’Reilly replied via email: “There has been no change in enforcement – the signs are to simply to advise individuals of the existing applicable city ordinance that has always been in effect.”