New York State beaches open for Memorial Day

Local News

NEW YORK STATE (WSYR-TV) — With Memorial Day weekend on the horizon, many people are used to gathering in groups for a barbeque or beach day, but your beach trip this year will have some changes, especially when it comes to social gatherings.

Before you pack your beach bag and make your way to the water, it’s important for everyone to know that there are quite a few changes.

State park police will be patrolling the area to make sure everyone is following all social distancing rules and wearing masks where you can’t be six feet apart from others. People are asked to only come to the beach with members of your immediate household and when you do arrive, you shouldn’t be mingling with others.

Green Lakes will be limiting capacity by 50% and there will be no contact sports allowed like volleyball and football. Lifeguards will be staffed as they normally would be, and they’ve all gone through training to make sure they’re sanitizing and limiting their exposure, as well.

Although swimming will be allowed at Green Lakes, an expert with SUNY Upstate Medical University says we’re still learning about COVID-19 and its ability to survive in different elements still isn’t clear.

“In terms of water, we know that it’s not a very stable virus and can be killed easily with things like bleach. So it might be less likely to live in pools. We don’t know about lakes and things like that, so I would caution people to keep washing their hands and be highly vigilant about cleaning and washing your hands after you’re touching things, even water,” said Dr. Katie Anderson.

Dr. Anderson says if you do go to one of these beaches or parks that are open and you find yourself feeling uncomfortable with the number of people you’re around, feel free to take a step back and re-think your plan. 

Green Lake will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Oneida Shores and Fair Haven will also be open. 

From the State Park’s website:

ALERT:  Park is open, Social Distancing requirements are in place. Camping and pavilion reservations and swimming operations are canceled through May 31, 2020.  Golf course tentative opening is May 15th, 2020.

  • Historically, Central Region of NYS Parks has opened for the season Memorial Day weekend and this year will no different, albeit with a slightly different operation plan, due to Covid19.
  • The park will be limited to 50 percent capacity daily throughout the weekend.  Once capacity has been reached.  Vehicles will be stopped from entering and only be allowed to enter when another vehicle departs.
  • Visitors should come prepared for a brief stay (1 hour or less) as well as have a backup plan to recreate in the event they are turned away if the park has reached the 50 percent threshold.
  • The beach will be open, with swimming limited to shallow water only at Green Lakes, Delta Lake, Glimmerglass and Chenango Valley. The Splash Pad at Chenango Valley will be closed. Picnic areas around the beach area will not be available.
  • Groups will not be allowed to congregate on the beach and face coverings will be required around public buildings, including restrooms.
  • No concessions, fountains or amenities (ball fields, playgrounds, boat rentals) will be available.
  • NYS Parks welcomes back our patrons, but strongly urges them to follow the above plan so that everyone in Central New York has an equal opportunity to enjoy our beautiful park system and Memorial Day weekend.

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