2 lifeguards test positive for COVID-19 in Shore town

Lifeguard rescue torpedoes. (Public domain image)

Lifeguard rescue torpedoes. (Public domain image)

Two lifeguards in a coastal New Jersey municipality have tested positive for COVID-19, an official said.

Spring Lake Borough Administrator Bryan Dempsey said municipal officials were notified this week about the two cases, impacting a pool and a beach lifeguard. No additional information about the lifeguards was released.

In a letter to beach and pool patrons, Dempsey wrote that neither lifeguard is currently working. The letter advised that the borough is following recommended protocols from the Monmouth Regional Health Commission and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dempsey is asking the public to social distance on the boardwalk, the beach, and the pool and wear face coverings as much as possible and always when interacting with others.

In nearby Manasquan, the borough canceled its summer recreation program after several beach and recreational personnel tested positive for COVID-19, although officials did not provide information about the specific job roles impacted. In a statement, the borough said it is following contact tracing, testing, isolation, and quarantining procedures.

In the past week, Manasquan reported that 23 residents had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The borough will limit daily beach badge sales on Saturdays and Sundays to 1,000 per day and will restrict access to certain beaches if they reach capacity.

Dr. Ed Lifshitz, director of the New Jersey Department of Health’s communicable disease service, said during Monday’s COVID-19 briefing that the state has no evidence that beachgoers are responsible for coronavirus infections.

“We certainly have evidence that indoor parties associated with beach towns and other places have occurred,” he said. Lifshitz did not say how many cases are from indoor parties.

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