billyKeymasterMay 19, 2020 at 11:07 pmPost count: 81
While Gov. Phil Murphy is welcoming visitors to Jersey Shore’s beaches and boardwalks ahead of Memorial Day weekend, officials in Philadelphia are doing the opposite with the city’s mayor and heath commissioner urging people to stay away
“Don’t go to the beach,” Philadelphia health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley advised at Monday briefing. “We’re not recommending people go to the beach. If you go into crowds there’s a risk. We understand the draw, it’s very tempting. You may have gone to the beach every Memorial Day weekend for years, but this is not the time to do that. Let’s wait until the case counts are lower for it to be safer.”
In Philadelphia, 652 people are hospitalized due to the coronavirus, down one-third from last month’s peak, Farley said. Nearly 20,000 Philadelphians have been infected with 1,040 deaths since the outbreak began in March.
Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat like Murphy, also cautioned Philadelphians to postpone visits to the Jersey Shore.
“South Jersey does what South Jersey does,” Kenney said. “It’s going to affect us because people are going to go to the beach this weekend, they’re going to congregate with people in too close proximity, then they’re going to drive back home to Philadelphia and perhaps give the virus to somebody in their family.”
Even Pennsylvania Gov. Thomas Wolf questioned the wisdom of beaches in New Jersey in Maryland and Maryland opening.
“I am not sure why the governors of Maryland and New Jersey have opened their beaches, but they have…I wouldn’t go to the beach,” said Wolf, also a Democrat.
In Ocean City, a popular destination for Pennsylvanians, large crowds were seen walking on the boardwalk Saturday, and many were enjoying the sunshine on blankets and beach chairs on the sand.
Murphy said Monday it was a “decent weekend” on the Jersey Shore when it comes to residents practicing social distancing on beaches and boardwalks, adding he’d like more people to wear face coverings. Masks are suggested but not required on beaches and boardwalks.
Rides and games on boardwalks are still closed, cutting down on the number of entertainment options available.
Atlantic City casinos also remain shuttered. Restaurants and bars can only offer food for takeout or delivery.
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