Blog

, Swim Guide Editor
Posted: March 25, 2020 at 12:26 am

25 March 2020 updates

In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, enforce social distancing, and in certain cases, accommodate mandatory work and travel restrictions, states, counties, and cities across the USA are limiting access to beaches. The majority of US recreational water quality monitoring programs continue to sample beaches and share test results as usual. However, certain monitoring programs have been paused or modified in the wake of the coronavirus.

Below is a list of all US states whose recreational water quality data we share on Swim Guide. You’ll find current beach access and closure information for each state in Swim Guide, as well as updates on the status of recreational water quality monitoring programs during the Covid-19 pandemic. This list will be updated frequently, as new information becomes available.

Alabama

Beaches in Alabama, public or private, were closed by Alabama Public Health as of 5PM on 19 March 2020. Currently beaches are closed through to April 5, 2020. Click here for more.

Arkansas

Recreational water quality monitoring and access to water bodies currently not in season, and not impacted.

Arkansas State Parks are limiting access in order to promote social distancing..

California

Shelter in Place order from the State of California Public Health Officer was issued as an executive order by the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, on 19 March 2020. Click here to access the executive order.

The public is ordered to practice social distancing and in certain counties and cities in California, beaches and access points to beaches, have been closed. These include: city-owned beaches in San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Monica (parking lots closed).

California Department of Parks and Recreation current updates on closures here.

Beach water quality monitoring continues. Monitoring test results are accessible on Swim Guide and from county monitoring programs.

Connecticut

The town of Greenwich is closing its parks and beaches in order to ensure social distancing is followed and more closures and access limitations expected, as of 24 March.

Currently, recreational water quality monitoring has not begun for 2020, so no known impact.

Delaware

On the order of the governor John Carney beaches in Delaware were closed 21 March 2020 in order to help stop the spread of coronavirus by enforcing social distancing. Click here for more information. The public is “prohibited from accessing the beach except to exercise or walk their dogs where dogs are permitted. Local officials may choose to enact tighter restrictions.” Restrictions are in place until 15 May 2020, or until the threat is eliminated; whichever comes first.

Currently, recreational water quality monitoring has not begun for 2020, so no known impact.

District of Columbia

Closures to parks and outdoor spaces beginning 23 March 2020.
Currently, recreational water quality monitoring has not begun for 2020, so no known impact.

Florida

Florida, the Sunshine State, has closed or limited access to many of the state’s parks as well as the many beaches in order to curb the spread of coronavirus, and to enforce social distancing. Governor Ron DeSantis issued an order limiting the number of people on beaches, and ordering social distancing measures in place. Local authorities throughout the state have closed or limited access to beaches.

In most counties, the most crowded and popular beaches are closed.

Florida State Parks

Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection closed all Florida State Parks to the public effective 23 March 2020, by order of the governor, “to successfully uphold CDC guidance to maximize social distancing and avoid gatherings larger than 10 people.” Access Florida State Parks page on the closures here.

Northern East Coast Florida Beaches

Duval County : Jacksonville Beaches closed on 20 March 2020, until further notice.
Flagler County : Flagler Beach closed on 22 March 2020, until further notice.
Nassau County: Fernandina Beach closed 22 March 2020.
St. Johns County: Ponte Vedra Public Beach parking closed 23 March 2020, until further notice.

Central East Coast Florida Beaches

Brevard County: Cocoa Beach parking is closed. Beaches remain open as of 24 March 2020.
Volusia County: All access ramps at Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach are closed. Beach parking remains open as of 24 March 2020.

Central West Coast Florida Beaches

Hillsborough County : Ben T. Davis Beach closed 19 March 2020, until further notice.
Pinellas County: Clearwater closed 21 March 2020, until 6 April 2020, or further notice.

Florida Panhandle Beaches

Bay County: Panama City Beaches closed beginning 20 March 2020.
Okaloosa and Walton Counties: Fort Walton and Destin Beaches closed 20 March 2020, through 30 April 2020.

Southeast Florida Beaches

Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties: by order of Governor Ron DeSantis all Broward and Miami-Dade beaches closed, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Palm Beach, and South Beach.
Florida Keys/Monroe County: Lodging is closed to all visitors until further notice.

Southwest Florida Beaches

Collier County: Naples and Marco Island beaches closed as of 19 March 2020. Closed until further notice
Lee County: Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, and Captiva public beaches are closed as of 20 March 2020, at least 30 days.

Georgia

Beach water-quality testing temporarily suspended by Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resource Division.

Beaches are closed in Tybee and Glynn counties. Click here for more.

Hawaii

Visitors and residents arriving/returning to Hawaii must undergo 14-days quarantine, starting 21 March 2020.
For the State of Hawaii, Governor David Ige is recommending that the CDC’s social distancing requirements are followed.
All Hawaii State Parks were closed or partially closed 20 March 2020, by the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. This includes many of the states’ beaches. Click here for more information.

Big Island: All parks closed on the big island, and beach access is limited or prohibited.
Kauai : Residents are permitted to access beaches and should bring proof of residency on their visits. Non – residents required to have permits to access the beaches. A curfew is in place from 9PM to 5AM.

Idaho

No current restrictions to beaches, and recreational water areas.

Recreational water quality monitoring and access to water bodies currently not in season, and not impacted.

Illinois

Statewide order issued for residents of Illinois to stay home was issued on 20 March 2020.
While access to beaches is currently not limited specifically, the governor has ordered “To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces when outside their residence, they must at all times and as much as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person, consistent with the Social Distancing Requirements set forth in this Executive Order.”

Recreational water quality monitoring and access to water bodies currently not in season, and not impacted.

Indiana

Recreational water quality monitoring and access to water bodies currently not in season, and not impacted.

Louisiana

As of 23 March 2020, Grand Island beaches are closing in order to promote social distancing and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Recreational water quality monitoring due to resume in May for the state’s 24 monitored beaches. No current updates on the impact to the recreational water quality monitoring program.

Maine

Recreational water quality monitoring and access to water bodies currently not in season, and not impacted.

Maryland

Maryland’s popular beach town Ocean City closed its beach and boardwalk 23 March 2020 to encourage locals and tourist to stay home, and help limit the spread of COVID-19.
Recreational water quality monitoring currently not in season, and not impacted.

Massachusetts

Recreational water quality monitoring and access to water bodies currently not in season, and not impacted.

Michigan

Recreational water quality monitoring currently not in season, and not impacted by the coronavirus. Currently, no beach access has been limited or prohibited.

Michigan’s Governor Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, which at this time continues to permit outdoor activities.

Minnesota

Recreational water quality monitoring currently not in season, and not impacted by the coronavirus. Currently, no beach access has been limited or prohibited.

Mississippi

Beaches in Mississippi are monitored year-round by Mississippi DEQ, and currently (25 March 2020) the sample results continue to be shared weekly for the state-monitored beaches.

As of 24 March 2020, no beaches in Mississippi have been closed due to the coronavirus.

Montana

Recreational water quality monitoring currently not in season, and not impacted by the coronavirus. Currently, no beach access has been limited or prohibited.

New Hampshire

Recreational water quality monitoring currently not in season, and not impacted by the coronavirus. Currently, no beach access has been limited or prohibited.

New Jersey

Access to the Jersey Shore has been closed, even for walks, in an effort to stop the spread of corona virus. Closures are in affect until at least April 15.
Governor Phil Murphy issued an executive Stay at Home order with set rules on social distancing.

Recreational water quality monitoring and access to water bodies currently not in season, and not impacted.

New York

While beach visits are not specifically prohibited, Governor Cuomo signed the “New York State on PAUSE” order, which came into affect on 22 March 2020. Note that the order states, “Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people,” and “Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders.”

Recreational water quality monitoring currently not in season, and not impacted by the coronavirus.

North Carolina

A number of coastal towns and cities in North Carolina have issued beach closures, or limited access to residents only in a bit to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Notably, Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach, and Surf City beaches. Strict enforcement measures are in place to ensure the public complies.

Currently there are no official pauses or changes to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Recreational Water Quality Monitoring Program.

Ohio

Recreational water quality monitoring currently not in season, and not impacted by the coronavirus. Currently, no beach access has been limited or prohibited.
Note that Ohio State Parks have been closed due to the coronavirus, and a “Stay at Home” order has been issued by the governor.

Oregon

Oregon State Parks, including coastal parks, were closed on 23 March 2020 in order to curb the spread of coronavirus and help enforce social distancing practices. Click here for more information.
Oregon Health Authority’s recreational water quality monitoring won’t begin until the end of May, and currently there is no notice that the program will be impacted by the coronavirus.

Pennsylvania

Recreational water quality monitoring and access to water bodies currently not in season, and not impacted.

Puerto Rico

Governor Wanda Vázquez issued a lockdown on 15 March 2020, as well as curfew of 9PM in order to curb the spread of Covid-19. Beach access is prohibited, and many beaches are barricaded. The lockdown and the closure of beaches is enforced by police. Violators can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed for six months.

Rhode Island

Recreational water quality monitoring and access to water bodies currently not in season, and not impacted.

South Carolina

Currently there are some beach closures in South Carolina. Visitors and locals are asked to practice social distancing. Myrtle beach is open as of 24 March 2020. Hilton Head has been closed for 60 days. Beaufort County closed access to Alljoy Beach, and Folly Beach has limited access.
Currently, winter recreational water quality monitoring continues.

Tennessee

Texas

As of 25 March 2020 the Texas General Land Office (GLO) Texas Beach Watch recreational water quality monitoring continues as expected for the 61 beaches along the Texas coast in Aransas, Brazoria, Cameron, Galveston, Jefferson, Kleberg, Matagorda, Nueces and San Patricio counties.

Cameron County has closed access to beaches. Social distancing is recommended at all beaches, and gatherings are banned.

Virginia

Virginia has declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus.
Beaches are not currently closed. Recreational water quality monitoring is currently not in season, and not currently impacted.

Washington

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced the temporary closure of all state-managed parks, wildlife areas, and beaches and water access areas, effective 25 March 2020. This is in effect for at least two weeks.
The closure is in response to Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order issued 24 March 2020. Click here for more information.
Recreational water quality monitoring is currently not in season, and not currently impacted.

West Virginia

Recreational water quality monitoring is currently not in season, and not currently impacted.
A stay at home order was issued by the Governor.

Wisconsin

Stay at home order in affect as of 25 March 2020.
Recreational water quality monitoring currently not in season, and not impacted by the coronavirus. Currently, no beach access has been limited or prohibited.

 
Swim Guide
is supported by
* The RBC Foundation

© SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA, 2011 - 2020