Neptune Beach city buildings close due to COVID-19 outbreak

(Photo courtesy of Jacksonville Daily Record)

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – The city of Neptune Beach has closed City Hall and Public Works Buildings to the general public due to a COVID-19 virus outbreak among employees and altered operations to keep working.

Mayor Elaine Brown said the city was forced to take action to protect the public and employees from the virus.

“We are still providing essential services and police protection but under modified activities,” Brown said in a statement.

According to City Manager Stefen Wynn, nearly every department of the City has been affected by positive cases of the virus, including top city officials. He emphasized that the services provided by the city are essential and although the city has closed its buildings to the public, those services will continue uninterrupted. Police will continue to provide protection and patrol the city and the city’s utilities will continue to flow.

The mayor has requested Gov. Ron DeSantis to once again permit quorums through virtual meetings since the process was not extended into 2021, saying,“The vaccines are going to take a while to distribute and virtual meetings will add to protecting the public and our employees as we conduct city business.”

Utility payments are accepted online, automated over the phone and through the two drop boxes located at the front door or along Lemon Street between City Hall and the Police Department. If a resident experiences a hardship, payment arrangements can be made by calling 904-270-2400.

“We urge everyone to continue to practice the recommended precautions as outlined by the CDC during these conditions and as we move forward with much-needed vaccinations,” Brown said.

Nine Neptune Beach officers were quarantined last summer after two tested positive for COVID-19.