The novel coronavirus has canceled spring – and it might cancel summer, too.
New York City’s Parks Department warned that beaches could remain closed for the entire summer, the New York Post reported, citing sources. The Parks Department has been told to “prepare for every scenario,” according to the report, which includes the possibility of sunshine and good times being put on hold.
“If you do that you increase density. I think Parks understands that,” the source in the report said. “Even if you say, ‘Is there a socially distant way of opening beaches?’, I don’t see it.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio hinted that social distancing stances wouldn’t end any time soon in a press conference Tuesday. De Blasio previously announced city schools would remain closed through the rest of the school year, but that idea was quickly squashed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said no decision has been made on school closures.
Still, de Blasio’s warning about continued social distancing measures doesn’t sound good for summer.
“We’re not confident about June, we’re not confident about July and we’re not confident about August that we could have people gathering together again in large numbers,” de Blasio said in the press conference.
Beaches are currently closed for the season but were scheduled to re-open for swimming on May 23, according to the Parks Department.
Many beaches and boardwalks were forced to shutter in New Jersey due to the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to limit crowds. Popular hangouts like Belmar, Point Pleasant Beach, and Ocean City announced closures over the past week, according to NJ.com.
Similar stances took place in California with beaches and parks being closed in the state. Los Angelos County officials closed beaches and trails in March, while Ventura Country recently closed all of its California State Parks until future notice, according to USA Today.
The lack of beachgoers is already having drastic effects on wildlife density. One beach in a Mexico resort has since turned into a crocodile hotbed. A resort in Oaxaca reported seeing crocodiles on La Ventanilla beach after the beaches were closed in April due to COVID-19.