Sixteen New York State Park beaches will be open for swimming on Memorial Day Weekend, though restrictions will be in place due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
As of Friday, May 22, the beaches were opened for swimming, though social distancing is being enforced, and face coverings must be worn whenever possible.
On Long Island, swimming will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Jones Beach, Robert Moses Beach, Hither Hills Beach, and Sunken Meadow Beach.
In the Hudson Valley, swimming will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Lake Welch Beach in Rockland County.
“Beach-goers are reminded to practice social distancing, respect the rules, and do their part to keep parks, beaches and public lands open and safe for everyone,” the state Parks Department posted. “Beach capacity is expected to fill quickly and New Yorkers are urged to plan ahead by having alternate destinations ready.”
While beaches are open, State Park Police and staff will be patrolling beaches, boardwalks, and parking fields to ensure that beach-goers are following the rules set by the state to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Beach-goers have been instructed to only visit with members of their immediate households, and maintain six feet of distance of others. Blankets and chairs should be kept 10 feet apart, and group activities should be avoided.
Restrictions put in place by the Parks Department include:
- Reducing normal summer season capacity by 50 percent, by limiting parking and other means of entry;
- Prohibiting group contact activities, including contact sports;
- Reducing capacity in indoor areas such as changing areas, locker rooms, restrooms by 50 percent;
- Closing all beachfront concessions and areas of social gathering;
- Implementing measures to maintain social distance for both employees and visitors, including signage, distance markers, directional arrows, and physical barriers;
- Requiring masks must be worn by all employees and visitors when social distancing is not possible;
- Conducting frequent cleaning and disinfection for restrooms and frequently touched surfaces.
With beaches reopening, lifeguards have been trained to practice “universal precautions” and have been educated about how to best disinfect and sanitize equipment and surfaces. There will also be a limit to the number of lifeguards per stand at one time.
Lifeguards will be outfitted with a fanny pack that contains a mask, gloves, hand sanitizer, CPR mask, safety glasses and a surgical mask for beachgoers who are potentially pulled from the water. Each lifeguard shack will also be equipped with supplies and materials such as disinfectant and hand sanitizer.
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