OCEAN CITY, Md. — The Ocean City beach and boardwalk will reopen as early as Saturday after weeks of shut down due to coronavirus safety concerns, according to an Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan.
The mayor of Ocean City announced at a City Council meeting that the beach, boardwalk and inlet parking lot will reopen on May 9 with social distancing guidelines in mind.
The decision to open up the beach is an effort to allow the city to transition from having smaller crowds to larger crowds during peak season and Memorial Day weekend, Meehan said. He believes people will not crowd the beaches.
“This is a way to give nearby residents more opportunities to get outside and enjoy fresh air, while still adhering to social distancing guidelines and gathering limits. The governor’s stay-at-home order remains in effect,” said Town of Ocean City and the Office of the Governor in a joint statement.
Meehan said everyone will have to take responsibility for their actions and do the right thing when it comes to social distancing and being safe during the coronavirus.
The city will be posting social distancing signs along the boardwalk and police will be patrolling the area for safety reasons, Meehan said.
This change comes after Ocean City officials previously extended the closure of the beach and boardwalk through May 15 in accordance with Gov. Larry Hogan's stay-at-home order.
Last month, Ocean City officials closed the beaches after large crowds were reported during the first few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic in Maryland.
Restaurants on the boardwalk will remain open for carry-out service only.
What precautions should you take?
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wear a mask if you have to make an essential trip outside
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Reasons to leave your home under stay-at-home order:
- Grocery store trips
- Medical visits or trips to the pharmacy
- Travel to your essential job
- Exercise such as walks, hikes or bike rides
Commonly reported symptoms of COVID-19 infection include:
- Shortness of breath
If you are sick or suspect you are infected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking the followings steps:
- Stay home except to get medical care
- Avoid public areas, including work or school
- Avoid public transportation
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
- Contact your doctor via telemedicine for more guidance
Check the status of the virus in your state with your state health department's websites by tapping below:
RELATED: Coronavirus live updates: Virginia could begin to enter Phase 1 of reopening starting May 15