How To Have A Safe “Locals Summer”

Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn

OCEAN COUNTY – Some call it “Locals Summer” but everyone is invited! Several beaches in the county have chosen to extend their season through the month of September and, with some good weather, into October.

  Ocean County Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer Daniel Regenye said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us on some level and made summer seem like it just came and went for many.”

  “The weather has been great and the water is clean so why not extend summer a little longer this year and enjoy what many of us locals call the best beach months because of the smaller crowds with slightly cooler temperatures and the ocean water typically still stays warm,” he added.

  The county has some of the highest quality, most frequented beaches and water quality in the United States, Regenye said, adding that each year the OCHD and its Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program (CCMP) ensures that over 1,000 individual Ocean County water samples are laboratory tested for quality and clarity.

  Through this continuous quality control process, our residents and visitors alike can rest assured that their visits to our beaches will be safe, fun and memorable.

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  The OCHD is urging residents and visitors to remember safety protocols when recreating at our beaches, local eating establishments and retailers.

Photo by Bob Vosseller

   “Ocean County has some of the best beaches in the country,” said Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “We certainly want our residents and visitors to enjoy this beautiful resource but the pandemic isn’t over and we need everyone to do their part in mitigating the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.”

  Little reminded beachgoers to adhere “to all the social distancing measures and by wearing a mask when appropriate.”

  Regenye said the beach can be very therapeutic and the perfect environment to mentally recharge and clear your mind. “Whether you just like to relax, do some fishing or enjoy boating activities – the summer is still here and going strong.”

  “If you do swim, make sure you find beaches that still have life guards on duty and never swim alone. Even though it’s later in the season, don’t forget to stay hydrated and use sun lotions with a UVA protection of 30 or higher. Sunglasses and hats are also important protection from the sun.”

  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests these critical tips while at the beach:

  • Keep your blankets and chairs a good 6 feet away from your nearest neighbors.
  • Don’t share food, drinks, equipment, toys and supplies with people you don’t live with.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Sneeze and cough into a tissue or sleeve.
  • Wear a face covering if social distancing isn’t feasible. (Especially if waiting in line for restrooms, food vendors, or any activity that brings people in close distance of others).
  • Stay home if sick.
  • Children under 2 should never wear a face covering.
  • Follow all posted and announced beach guidelines related to COVID-19 and other safety rules.

  Peter Curatolo, Ocean County Health Department Chief of Administrative Services said, “there is no shortage of effort or academic capital that goes into ensuring the quality of our manicured beaches and our clear, blue waters and we want everyone to visit and enjoy all that Ocean County has to offer. Ocean water quality in particular has been outstanding this year.”

  “Our coastal ocean beaches and waterways continue to impress and provide lasting memories for all who visit. Sun, sand, surf, boardwalks and world-class restaurants are all here for everyone to enjoy. So pack a bag and we hope to see you at the shore,” Curatolo said.  

  For more information regarding the CCMP water testing program or COVID-19 guidelines visit the OCHD website at ochd.org. The OCHD is also providing a general COVID-19 Information Call Hot Line for residents and clinicians to answer questions regarding the coronavirus. The number is 732-341-9700 ext. 7411.