State adds restrictions at swimming beaches

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ALBANY — Delta Lake State Park in Western is among the 16 beaches open for swimming this weekend by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, with lifeguards staffed at normal levels to ensure public safety. 

Delta Lake will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Monday. The beach will close on Tuesday and reopen the following weekend.

Beach-goers are reminded to practice social distancing, state officials said on Thursday, adding that with warm weather in the forecast that the reduced beach capacity is expected to fill quickly. They advise residents to plan ahead by having alternate destinations ready.

State Park Police and operations staff will be patrolling beaches, boardwalks, and parking fields to ensure compliance with social distancing and crowd control measures. Anyone that does not adhere to this guidance will be requested to leave the beach or park.

Among the restrictions, beach-goers should:

Visit only with members of their immediate household;

Maintain at least 6 feet of distance of others while swimming and on beaches and boardwalks;

Keep beach blankets and chairs at least 10 feet apart from others;

Wear a mask when unable to maintain social distance;

Refrain from group activities;

In addition, state parks staff have been directed to enact the following restrictions:

Reduce normal summer season capacity by 50%, by limiting parking and other means of entry;

Prohibiting group contact activities, including contact sports (e.g. volleyball, football);

Reducing capacity in indoor areas such as changing areas, locker rooms, restrooms by 50%;

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; and

Conducting frequent cleaning and disinfection for restrooms and other frequently touched surfaces.

As part of their lifeguard training and recertification, all state park lifeguards are trained to practice “universal precautions” related to infectious diseases, state officials said. As part of this training, the state has added COVID-19 informational training, including appropriate precautions to ensure our lifeguards disinfect and sanitize all equipment and surfaces such as lifeguard stands.

The state has also limited the number of guards per lifeguard stand at any one time. Each lifeguard will receive a fanny pack which will contain a mask, gloves, hand sanitizer, CPR mask, safety glasses and a surgical mask for beach goers who are pulled from the water.  Each lifeguard shack will be equipped with necessary supplies and materials such as disinfectant and hand sanitizer. 

Swimming availability varies by park. The following State Park swimming beaches will be open this weekend.

In addition to Delta Lake, there are two other state park swimming beaches that will be open this weekend: Glimmerglass, in Cooperstown, and Green Lakes, in Fayetteville.

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