Inweekly has confirmed that four Pensacola Beach lifeguards have tested positive for COVID-19. Three more are awaiting results of their tests. County commissioners were not notified until late yesterday.
No information has been provided on where the lifeguards contracted the virus – whether it was on the beach, local bars and restaurants…or as Escambia County emergency manager Eric Gilmore said Thursday – “riding in vehicles together.”
NorthEscambia has posted the same news tip. The county didn’t issue a press release about the infections to warn visitors to the beach today.
UPDATE: PNJ’s Jim Little did interview County PIO Laura Coale yesterday: “We believe at this time there was very little contact with the public.”
This means the county had plenty of time to issue a press release about the positive cases. Forty-five minutes before Little posted his story, the county sent out its daily COVID-19 update – without any mention of the infections.
The city followed with another update at 3:40 p.m. – 30 minutes before the PNJ posted Little’s article – to include the city’s face mask order. Again no mention of the lifeguards.
Commissioner Robert Bender told Inweekly this morning that two of the lifeguards rode in a beach vehicle together and others were part of their shift. The lifeguards participated in an “after-hours function.”