Pools, beaches offer extended hours for residents trying to escape potential heat wave
With a possible heat wave on the way, some Long Island pools and beaches are offering extended hours this weekend.
The Town of Hempstead is increasing hours with lifeguards on duty until 8 p.m. at pools and 7 p.m. at beaches. If temperatures remain high, the increased hours will extend into next week.
Town pools in Oyster Bay will also see hours extended until 8:30 p.m. this weekend, and Brookhaven Town beaches (Cedar Beach in Mt. Sinai, West Meadow Beach in Stony Brook, Corey Beach in Blue Point and Shoreham Beach) will have lifeguards on duty until 7 p.m.
Reservations are required for access at some town pools, like Dix Hills Poll in Huntington. At least five Nassau County pools are also open with reduced capacity and safety measures.
Beaches are also open for residents trying to escape the hot weather, where swimmers and sunbathers are being urged to stay socially distant and masks are still required on boardwalks and in public restrooms.
"We don't want to see a spread," says Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin. "We don't want to see the numbers spike up. You might not be comfortable wearing the mask, but I'll tell you right now, it's the thing you got to do at the beaches and the pools."
Jones Beach is still operating at 50% capacity as COVID-19 remains a threat.
Cones are being placed at every other parking spot to ensure social distancing. Officials say they will tow cars that park illegally.
Last weekend, the causeway at Robert Moses State Park was backed up for hours. Officials say they will be posting capacity updates to their social media so residents can check before they go.
Most town and county beaches are open to residents only. State officials are now warning drivers, especially those headed to state beaches, to avoid beach access roads during peak hours.
Nassau Executive Laura Curran says most residents are complying with social distancing rules at these places, but the rules will be enforced if needed.
"Our residents and our businesses have been practicing common sense. I'm expecting them to continue that. We do have our enforcement arms out there but they're just there to remind people about what they have to do," says Curran.
Beachgoers may also want to pack their own snacks and water, as not every concession stand will be open.
"The signs of heat exhaustion where you start to worry there might be a problem are dizziness, fatigue ... headache, nausea — feeling like you might pass out. We often get calls from people saying they stay in the sun all day, they didn't drink enough and are feeling sick," says Town of Hempstead Medical Director David Neubert.