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Officials Give Out Mixed Messages Following Beach Crowds on Memorial Day Weekend



Miami South Beach | Officials Give Out Mixed Messages Following Beach Crowds on Memorial Day Weekend | Featured

After beach crowds gathered amidst the coronavirus pandemic, governors and other elected officials send out mixed messages.

Fox News reported that thousands of Americans from the Jersey shore to Southern California head to the beach over the Memorial Day weekend.

“Great run this morning with [New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy], followed by a nice stroll along the boardwalk in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in a tweet on Monday. “Lots of folks wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and responsibly enjoying our beautiful Shore this MDW.” The tweet included a photo of him and his wife on the boardwalk.

Beach Crowds

Two weeks ago, Murphy decided to reopen the state’s beaches. He did so despite leading one of the hardest-hit states by COVID-19.

This decision “assured the Jersey Shore's place as a summertime magnet for vacationers from neighboring New York and Pennsylvania,” Fox News said in a report.

However, there are still some restrictions: No fireworks, Ferris wheel rides, roller coasters, go-karts, or arcade games. Casinos in Atlantic City also remain closed.

“The unfortunate thing is that all the out-of-town people have been cooped up the same amount of time that the locals have been here,” said Christine Barthelme of Point Pleasant, N.J. “My family will do mostly what we do on every holiday weekend here: relax in our backyard, have a barbecue and light the fire pit,” she also stated.

In Other States

Popular beach towns in Maryland and Virginia had similar scenarios.

In Ocean City, Md., a video of a crowded boardwalk went viral. Ashley Miller with Ocean City police said they “have officers on horseback, foot patrol and vehicle patrol. If we do see groups of 10 or more, we remind them that it is a violation of the governor’s order. Depending on the situation, we would determine what kind of action would be taken.”

“We do see a lot of voluntary compliance,” Miller added.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam faces criticism on social media after going to Virginia Beach Saturday without a face mask and not practicing social distancing measures.

“Virginia governor Ralph Northam says masks save lives – then doesn't wear one,” says a headline on The Guardian.

“He was outside and not expecting to be within 6ft of anyone,” Press Secretary Alena Yarmosky said. “This is an important reminder to always have face coverings in case situations change. We are all learning how to operate in this new normal, and it’s important to be prepared,” she then stated.

In the Tampa area along Florida's Gulf Coast, authorities closed parking lots because of the the big crowds.

In California, people headed to the famed beaches. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office reminded residents to continue following safety precautions.

“It’s a 3 day weekend. It’s nice outside. That doesn’t mean #COVID19 has gone away,” he tweeted. “Wash your hands. Stay 6 feet apart. Wear a face covering. Be smart. Your actions can literally save lives.”

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