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New York beaches hit capacity, close early as heat takes hold

Jones Beach.jpeg
Posted at 11:12 AM, Jul 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-18 17:17:32-04

LONG ISLAND — Some New York State beaches were already at capacity and closed to incoming visitors Saturday morning as the temperature rose into the mid-90s.

Robert Moses State Park as well as Fields 2 and 6 at Jones Beach on Long Island were all closed before 11:30 a.m. Fields 4 and 5 at Jones Beach closed around 1:30 p.m.

“We were filled to capacity by 10 a.m.,” George Gorman Jr., Regional Director of NYS Parks, told PIX11 News.

Wildwood, Hither Hills and Shadmoor state parks on the East End are also closed.

For updates on Jones Beach parking capacity, click here.

To find out the status of other state beaches and parks, click here.

Farther upstate, over a dozen parks and beaches were at capacity and closed by Saturday afternoon, including Minnewaska State Park, the Sam's Point Area, Southwick Beach, Moreau Lake, Cherry Plain, Lake Taghkanic and Taconic Copake Falls.

The best kept secret seems to be Hecksher State Park, parking at that beach only reached 25% capacity.

While many New Yorkers may have sand and surf in mind this weekend amid the heat and humidity, corornavirus rules may dampen those plans.

State beaches and parks are only admitting half the parking capacity at each location to encourage social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Beachgoers must set up 10 feet away from each other and face coverings are required on boardwalks and inside bathrooms and other indoor spaces.

The state is even using beach ambassadors to make sure people have enough room to safely enjoy the sand and surf.

“We want people to leave 10 feet between blankets and 6 feet distance when in the water,” said Gorman.