No confirmed coronavirus cases in Monroe County, but Key West landmarks will temporarily close

Tourists visiting Key West, Florida rest July 23, 2000 against the famous buoy that is located 90 miles from Communist Cuba and marks the southern most point in the United States. Key West is a mecca for tourists from around the world and possess a r (Robert King/Newsmakers)

Key West restaurants, bars and hotels are still open, but some iconic spots will close starting Tuesday due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In response to the White House's announcement to avoid groups of 10 or more, Key West officials announced they will close the following city attractions: Mallory Square during the nightly Sunset Celebration, Smathers Beach, and the Southernmost Point buoy. They will all close starting Tuesday, March 17.

The Miami Herald reports the buoy, an open-air landmark, will be barricaded off and patrolmen will be nearby to discourage any photo opportunities with the landmark.

“I hope we don’t have people trying to fight police to get a photo next to a concrete buoy," City Manager Greg Veliz said to the newspaper.

According to a statement by the city, "the closures will be reevaluated on a daily basis."

As of Monday, there are no confirmed cases in Monroe County. Officials said the latest batch of tests came back negative.

“We understand that this creates a burden on both our residents and our visitors,” Veliz said in a statement, “but it’s vital that we work together to protect public safety during this health emergency. The sooner these measures are enacted, the quicker we can get back to business as usual.”

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know


Map of known COVID-19 cases:

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