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In The Midst Of A Pandemic, Clearwater Prepares For Memorial Day Weekend

The Sandpearl Resort is taking precautions to protect guests and workers ahead of Memorial Day weekend.
Sandpearl Resort
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Clearwater mayor Frank Hibbard says he’s expecting a busy Memorial Day weekend, as more people choose to vacation close to home.  Hibbard says hotels on Clearwater Beach are taking precautions to prevent spread of coronavirus.  

“There is an innkeepers' group that meets on Clearwater Beach and they really share best practices together. What helps one helps all. They really want to be kind of the benchmark for a destination,” he said. 


Some hotels have installed ultraviolet lights to clean air and are trying to minimize contact between employees and guests. Hibbard toured the Sandpearl Resort on Wednesday to see some of the measures.  


Read more: Florida Hotel Hot Spots Become Ghost Towns Because Of Coronavirus


“The front desk counter is wiped down between each guest. You hand them a credit card that's sanitized, it's swiped. sanitized, again given back to the guests,” he said. “The guests are given two plastic bags, one for linens and one for trash. Because once a guest enters a hotel room, there will be no staff in that hotel room until they leave.” 


Hibbard says most hotels have remained open through the pandemic, but a number closed voluntarily due to a lack of guests. The Wyndham Grand will reopen next week.   


The city has also set up handwashing stations on the beach. Ambassadors and Clearwater Police will enforce social distancing rules.


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Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by , the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.