Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue lifeguards also made nearly 100 water rescues over the weekend.


Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue issued more than 900 warnings over the first weekend the beach was largely reopened to almost all activities — sans beach driving.


"We did have beautiful beach weather this weekend," said Ray Manchester, Volusia County Beach Safety director, during a Volusia County briefing at the Emergency Operations Center on Monday. He said that the sunny weekend drew crowds to the coastline, but noted that most people complied with the spacing rules. "For the most part, beachgoers spaced out and kept groups small. The heaviest crowds were near large, off-beach parking lots and hotels that have reopened."


[READ MORE: Coronavirus: Reopened Volusia beaches met with cheers, but hesitancy still looms]


[READ MORE: Coronavirus: Volusia beaches provide break from pandemic]


The county lifeguards also made nearly 100 water rescues over the weekend.


Manchester said that while 900 warnings may "sound like a lot," it was to be expected giving the number of folks that sought out the sunshine after several weeks of being denied the privilege of being stationary on the sands.


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Also, warnings don’t necessarily mean citations or fines for breaking the rules. By and large, the verbal warnings are issued by megaphone to remind people to space out a little more.


"When I say we issued warnings," said Manchester, "What that means is we provided information and education to keep people safe and healthy."


Photos: Reopened Volusia beaches met with cheers


So, if beach visitors are mostly complying with the rules, when will the county reinstate beach driving?


In short, the county says that’s something they are working toward.


"Beach driving will eventually be permitted when it’s safe to do so," said county spokeman Kevin Captain.


Manchester said the county is looking at all their options and is working toward "being fully up and operational soon."


He said beachside restrooms remain shuttered, too, for now.


"Due to challenges with decontamination, the public restrooms remain closed," said Manchester. "These facilities present a challenge because they create an opportunity for the easy spread of germs and bacteria."


Also during Monday’s briefing, Florida Department of Health in Volusia County Administrator Patricia Boswell gave the number of "cleared" cases.


Of the 514 positive COVID-19 cases in the county, Boswell said 131 have been "cleared."


Boswell said that means those cases "are no longer being monitored."



That label doesn’t necessarily mean the person has recovered from the virus. In the past, Boswell has stated that there are varied reasons for a person to no longer be on the watch list for the virus, including if the person is no longer showing symptoms or died.


In the meantime, as governments take "baby steps" to reopen the state, AdventHealth DeLand Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joe Smith said the hospital is now allowing COVID patients to have a single visitor per day.


Smith said the visitor will need to follow rules put in place, including wearing a mask, but the hospital hopes that being able to see someone special to them will aid in the patient’s recovery.


On Monday, area hospitals also restarted elective surgeries and began reopening clinics throughout the community, Smith said.


But the new adjustments and developments don’t mean people should become complacent, the doctor said.


While Volusia County has seen just over 500 cases and 26 deaths from the disease thus far, Smith said, "I want to reiterate that number was very much contained because of all the measures that everyone took."


"Continue to just do all the things that have helped to thwart this virus and its spread," said Smith.