Conservation Commission continued to show low to moderate levels. Officials said Wednesday afternoon that people are still complaining of scratchy throats and wheezing.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said dead fish were being cleaned up off MacArthur Beach Beach State Park on nearby Singer Island and would be tested to see if the Karenia brevis toxin was the cause of death.
The town was closely monitoring the situation and consulting with the Florida Department of Health and Fish and Wildlife as to when the beaches would be safe to re-open, Fire-Rescue Chief Darrel Donatto said.
The town notified residents of the closure on Sunday, and hoisted red flags to warn visitors away from Midtown and Phipps Ocean Park beaches.
Mayor Gail Coniglio said the town was in close contact with state and county authorities, and would not reopen the beaches until certain it was safe.
“To keep people safe is our first priority,” Coniglio said.
As of Wednesday, the town had not responded to any medical calls related to the respiratory issue, Donatto said.
In an email alert, the town cautioned anyone with respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema or bronchitis to avoid all beaches in town until otherwise advised. Anyone who goes to the beach and experiences symptoms including eye irritation, itchy throat and coughing should leave the beach area and seek air conditioning.
If symptoms persist, seek medical attention or call 911.
Christie Schwab, principal of Palm Beach Public Elementary, said the school is holding physical education classes and recess indoors “due to the airborne irritants.”
There have been no cases of red tide-related illness among students or staff, she said.
“We (regularly) check with the school nurse and we are all monitoring whatever the news is saying about red tide,” she said.
The school at 239 Cocoanut Row has 380 students attending kindergarten through fifth grade.
Craig Pollock, the town’s lifeguard supervisor, will decide when it’s appropriate to reopen the town’s public beaches, Donatto said.
“He’s following the situation very closely and talking to (authorities at) other beaches in the area as well,” Donatto said. “Everybody is kind of in this together.”
Glenn Jergensen, executive director of the county’s Tourism Development Council, said it is too early to tell how much of an impact the county might see in terms of bookings or other lost business.
While Jergensen hopes the red tide rolls out soon, he said it has come at the slowest time of the year for tourism.
The tourism season picks up around the holidays, with the peak being from January to April, he said. He added hotels have not yet reported
People are still reporting symptoms including eye irritation, itchy throat and coughing believed to be caused by
airborne effects of the red tide.
any changes in visitors’ plans to come here. Paul Leone, president of The Breakers, said the resort had not received any cancellations as of Tuesday.
Lifeguard Ryan Zabovnik wears a mask at Midtown Beach on Sunday. The beach remains closed due to the presence of the red tide algae, a respiratory, skin and eye irritant.