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Jun 23

Loudoun County Officials Urge Caution for Beach Trips

Posted on June 23, 2020 at 2:52 PM by MaryFrances Forcier

If you’re craving summer sun, sand and relaxation, how can you enjoy time at the beach and still keep yourself and others healthy? 

COVID-19 “hot spots” are emerging at beach destinations in Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina and Virginia, as well as in vacationers’ home communities, so it’s important to keep your guard up for everyone’s safety.

Parents of teens participating in senior beach week or other group gatherings should be particularly vigilant. This year, concerns about excessive partying and risky behavior are compounded by the additional risk of COVID-19. When young people from different households live in crowded group settings without physical distancing or wearing face coverings, they can put themselves and their families at greater risk of contracting the virus.

If you’re planning a beach trip, there are steps you should take to keep your family safe and to prevent the spread of the virus from region to region:
  • Stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms, have been diagnosed with the virus or are waiting to get results. And you should stay home and monitor your health if you’ve been exposed to someone with the virus within the last 14 days.
  • Know the rules: call ahead or visit the local government website for the area you plan to visit. Current rules differ in various states, and can vary even from county to county and beach to beach. States or localities may require face coverings, limit the number of people who can gather on the beach, restrict beach access during certain hours, or limit access to parking and amenities.
  • At the beach, stay with your family group, and keep 6 feet away from others on the beach or in the water. 
  • Don’t share food, equipment, toys or supplies with people you don't live with.
  • Consider the type of beach you’re visiting:
  • If it’s a remote, less populated beach, it will be easier to walk, swim and sunbathe while keeping your distance from others.
  • If it’s packed towel-to-towel, be sure to stay 6 feet apart, keep your visit short, and wear a face covering when you’re not in the water. 
  • Be sure to wear a face covering while walking along the boardwalk, shopping, or dining, or anywhere it’s difficult to keep 6 feet apart. Steer clear of crowded areas.
  • There may be fewer lifeguards than usual, so be extra careful about water safety.
  • Ask the hotel or property rental company about its cleaning procedures. Wash the sheets when you arrive, if possible, and bring some sanitizing spray or wipes to use on high-touch surfaces.
  • Have food and groceries delivered. Avoid the potential exposure, save yourself the shopping time, and avoid potentially crowded restaurants and bars altogether.
  • Take the stairs. If you are staying in a high-rise condo or hotel, understand that it’s difficult to maintain a 6-foot distance in elevators. If you must take the elevator, be sure to wear your face covering. 
The CDC has more information posted on its website regarding visiting recreational facilities, including beaches. The Virginia Department of Health has published a map of swimming advisories and monitored beaches in Virginia. You can also view COVID-19 data in Virginia before you travel.

In addition to these steps, continue to follow the same safety practices you would at home, including wearing a mask when you can’t maintain social distance, washing your hands or using hand sanitizer often, covering your coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your face, and isolating anyone who shows possible COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever.

The CDC offers these general considerations for travelers if you’re planning to venture away from home.

Loudoun County encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19.
  • Visit for more information about how to protect yourself and your family and to sign up for email and text updates on COVID-19. 
  • Text LCCOVID19 to 888777 to receive text alerts from Loudoun County about COVID-19. 
    • Text LCCOVIDESP to 888777 to receive text messages in Spanish from Loudoun County about COVID-19.
Residents with questions about COVID-19 may call the Loudoun County Health Department’s information line, 703-737-8300, or send an email.

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