With Labor Day weekend (and an imminent heat wave) upon us, denizens of the Bay Area are ready to flood local beaches in droves — but many, however, have closed to thwart COVID-19 infections.
As reported by ABC7, a huge number of beaches in our neck of the woods are closed this long weekend in an attempt to drive down local COVD-19 infections, which have been trending slightly upward over the past week. Though medical experts say the risk of spreading COVID-19 is far greater indoors than it is outdoors.
It’s #LaborDayWeekend & we know you want to get together with loved ones. Do so safely. Wear a face covering properly, do not share food or drinks, & wash your hands regularly, including at Dolores, & all of our parks! #MaskTheSFup #IWearAMask— SF Rec and Park (@RecParkSF) September 5, 2020
Tips here: https://t.co/IVp7nJztmy pic.twitter.com/jEiNbiJ2VG
In fact, in a recent study, scientists found that of the 380 outbreaks studied and observed — defined as an episode involving three or more COVID-19-positive cases — only one began outside. Another research study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that the virus can’t contend well with frequent shifts in temperature and humidity, meaning that climate-controlled indoor settings could pose a far greater risk of infection; communing with Mother Natures removes this replication cushion for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Nevertheless, according to Mercury News, parks officials are reminding people not to gather in large numbers — sans those in their immediate circles — and to keep a healthy distance from others to avoid spreading COVID-19 if they head to a shoreline this weekend.
“We understand people want to escape the heat wave but we all need to be responsible and do our part during the pandemic,” said Gloria Sandoval, a CA State Parks spokeswoman, to the local news outlet.
So, take Sandoval's advice to heart should you decide to sunbathe and picnic atop any one of the still-open Bay Area beaches, below:
- All of San Francisco County's beaches are open — but all picnic areas and the Ocean Beach fire pits are closed.
- All Marin County beaches are open... except for Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay State Park due to the Woodward Fire.
- All shorelines and beaches making up the East Bay Region Parks system are open.
- San Mateo's Half Moon Bay Beaches, Montara Beaches, and Pescadero Beaches are open; Pacifica Beaches are closed.
- All Sonoma County beaches are open, as well as the sandy patches along Russian River.
*If a beach you're looking to visit doesn’t fall into any of the aforementioned areas with open beaches, assume it's closed or call to ensure that it's, in fact, not closed.
Some things to consider if you're planning on going to the beach this weekend: Wear your mask, slather on an SPF of 30 or greater, and keep at least six feet away from those not in your group. Pick up any trash you see, even if it's not yours. Don't pull any Karen or Ken shenanigans this weekend.
Image: Esther Cuan