TITUSVILLE, Fla. – UPDATE: Titusville police wrote in a tweet Friday that the A. Max Brewer Bridge will remain open for this weekend’s launch. The eastern and westbound lanes will be closed for one hour after launch to accommodate pedestrians.
Original story below:
Just before SpaceX scrubbed Wednesday’s planned launch of two astronauts, hundreds of spectators gathered close to each other at the A. Max Brewer Bridge in hopes of witnessing the space.
In addition to blocking a lane that police were trying to keep open for emergency vehicles, some have questioned whether the public practiced proper social distance to minimize the spread of COVID-1
“No. No, they weren’t,” Titusville Police Department Tyler Wright said.
While the law enforcement agency reported some problems during Wednesday’s launch trial, the large crowds gathered at the bridge began discussions on Thursday that could potentially lead to changes where spectators can see Saturday’s re-planned launch attempt.
With the new launch time taking place on a weekend, Space Coast officials predict that an even larger number will attend.
“What to do with the bridge and foot traffic and everything that still works right now,” Wright said. “But our main concern is that emergency vehicles can go east and west when we have the largest amount of foot traffic out there, if foot traffic will be on the bridge. But it is not yet determined whether we should allow it. “
Elsewhere in Brevard County, no immediate changes are planned at popular launch sites for launches.
“We can have more staff because we will have more people and traffic,” said Tod Goodyear, spokesman for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
Although sheriff’s employees will again distribute donated masks and provide guidance on social distancing, Goodyear told onlookers responsible for following the CDC’s recommendations.
“There’s just so much we can do to educate ourselves,” Goodyear said.
A spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County did not address specific questions about Saturday’s expected launch masses, but offered advice on minimizing the spread of the virus.
“The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County supports the recommendations for social distancing, limits groups to 10 or less, and the use of fabric face masks described in phase one of the report to Gov. DeSantis from Re-Open Task Force, Says the agency in a statement. “Individuals who do not follow these guidelines have an increased risk of COVID-19 and should monitor their health for 14 days. These individuals must also understand that not everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 exhibits symptoms and can place others, including family members and vulnerable individuals, at risk. “
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