Summer is Here! Are the Beaches Safe?

Summer is here, and it was a long winter and difficult spring. We’re ready for some R&R, including beach time! But is it safe, and will we be allowed on the beach at all? It depends on where you are.

In LA County, which includes Malibu and Santa Monica beaches, you can’t lounge on the sand, no vendors are allowed, you have to stay six feet apart even in the water, and you have to wear a face covering while out of the water if there are people nearby.

That doesn’t sound like a ton of fun.

Generally speaking though, beaches are low risk.

Dr. Timothy Brewer, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, said:

“People have been cooped up for several weeks now. Going to visit beaches or mountains are relatively lower-risk activities compared to being around people in an enclosed indoor space like a store or a theater.  The advantage of being outside is that if someone does have COVID-19 and they are releasing respiratory droplets, the droplets will be rapidly dispersed.”

Brewer also said there was little risk of getting the disease through ocean water.

The big change is not spending a lot of time in close contact with others while outdoors, such as around an ice chest or barbeque.

Dr. Neha Nanda, medical director of infection prevention with Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, said:

“If it is a nuclear family having a picnic that is perfectly fine, but don’t have a birthday bash.”

Clearly these people were not giving advice at the Lake of the Ozarks last weekend.  It will be interesting to see how many people comply with the rules, and how many decide they’ve had enough.

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