Harwich Approves 2020 Beach Season Opening Plan

HARWICH – Harwich selectmen have approved the 2020 beach season opening plan that was presented by Recreation Department Director Eric Beebe.

The plan limits some beach parking and reduces the sale of one-day beach passes to two beaches, Red River and Fernandes Bog at Long Pond.

Gate attendants selling day passes will be provided with a money drop box so beach goers can drop the money in the slot without it changing hands.

Only exact amounts will be accepted.

All beaches will be allowed full parking capacity except Pleasant Road Beach and Earle Road Beach.

Both beaches have a large parking lot for a small beach area and it is believed social distancing would be difficult to maintain if the lots were full.

Earle Road will be reduced to 50 percent capacity and Pleasant Road will be reduced to 60 percent capacity.

“We’re proposing to sell day passes at Red River and Long Pond only this summer,” said Beebe.  

“Usually it’s Red River, Long Pond, Earle, and Pleasant, but with restricted parking at Earle and Pleasant the parking sports that are there will be in higher demand.”  

The recreation department is hiring 13 to 15 COVID-19 Compliance Personnel to monitor COVID safety and guidelines at all major Harwich Beaches and associated parking lots.

The personnel will make sure beach goers are wearing masks, social distancing is adhered to, and that no groups of more than 10 people congregate.

They will also be assuring that no ball playing, kites, frisbees, or games are played on the beach.

“We are doing COVID monitoring with our COVID Compliance Personnel, they are looking for social distancing, they’re making sure people aren’t playing ball or any kind of games on the beach which is prohibited, they’re making sure people have masks in appropriate situations, and that there’s no groups of 10 or more” continued Beebe.

“This is kind of a theme that will continue throughout the summer as well with staff and patron interactions as well as staff and staff with each other.”  

The COVID Compliance Personnel will monitor beaches from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 7 days a week at Red River Beach, Bank Street Beach, Earle Road Beach, Pleasant Road Beach, Fernandes Bog at Long Pond, Cahoons Beach, Atlantic Ave Beach, Grey Neck Beach, Brooks Road Beach, and Sand Pond.

Personnel will be provided with masks, gloves, sanitizer, and basic first aid kits in case of emergency.

The compliance personnel will continue in their positions through the summer season, June 27 through Labor Day.

Interim Town Administrator Joseph Powers said the personnel would serve more as security personnel rather than normal gate attendants and that the town hopes the cost of the employees will be reimburse through the CARES Act.

Beach staff is required to be aware of their own health and to communicate any illness to their supervisors.

Lifeguard stands will also be limited to one guard per stand at all times.

Restroom facilities will be open at all town beaches, each of which will be cleaned two to three times a day by the Harwich DPW.

The compliance personnel will be responsible for managing restroom lines and making sure social distancing is followed.

Beach food vendors under town contract will be permitted to begin operations at assigned beaches while fulfilling all safety guidelines and working with the health department for proper permitting.

Vendors will only be able to provide curbside pickup and will not be permitted to have picnic tables, chairs, or seating areas.

Appropriate signage will be posted at all Harwich beaches highlighting safety guidelines and beach policies regarding COVID-19.

For the entire “Town of Harwich Beach Season Reopening Plan,” click here.

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 CapeCod.com News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.

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