COVID-19 Cases Prompt Falmouth to Operate Beaches With Reduced Lifeguards

FALMOUTH – The Falmouth Beach Department has been operating with a reduced number of lifeguards due to a recent cluster of COVID-19 cases.

A non-working-hours social gathering involving several town lifeguards was held last month which resulted in 10 lifeguards with positive COVID-19 test results.

That has led to some of the town’s beaches to operate with fewer lifeguards on duty.

In a few cases, there are public beaches at which no lifeguards are available.

In such circumstances, messages have been posted for public awareness at each respective beach in which it is applicable.

The situation is anticipated by town officials to be continuing, given that some lifeguards need to remain in quarantine per the protocol of the state Department of Public Health.

“We want to assure the public that we continue to closely follow all health protocols, including the quarantining of lifeguards who, through contact tracing, are confirmed to have been exposed to the virus even if they have not tested positive in the most recent testing process arranged by the town with Cape Cod Healthcare,” Town Manager Julian Suso said in a statement.

“To date, 22 Falmouth lifeguards have responded to the voluntary testing opportunity in addition to 13 others on the Falmouth Beach Department staff. Ten lifeguards have been tested positive for the coronavirus. No other beach department staff members have tested positive.”

According to Suso, upon receiving a positive test result, lifeguards have been removed from the active working schedule and instructed by the Board of Health contact tracing personnel to isolate.

Only upon successfully completing the isolation period, as determined by Board of Health protocolm, will the individuals be permitted to return to work.

All beach department staff members wear face coverings while working and are directed to conduct themselves in a responsible manner, including social distancing, hand washing sanitizing, and related actions to protect themselves, their co co-workers and the public.

Town officials have been monitoring, reviewing, and discussing the matter of appropriate social distancing on the town’s beaches.

The Falmouth Select Board recently decided to expand the available parking at the Mill Road municipal parking area on a trial basis, overseen by staff members to allow for an expanded availability for parking.

Suso said that so far it has functioned successfully without leading to inappropriate crowding conditions on the Surf Drive Beach.

Town officials have also decided to expand the available parking at Bristol, Megansett, and Stoney Beaches.

Suso said that monitoring and oversight of beach parking continues with a full staff of parking attendants.

About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.
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