SPEND A HEALTHY DAY AT THE BEACH AS A BREAK FROM COVID-19 – JUST REMEMBER TO PROTECT YOURSELF & OTHERS!

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Stay safe from the potential dangers of the sun, surf & COVID-19 this summer

 

(Toms River) – The cool breezes, a dip in the enticing water or just relaxing with a good book; for many, nothing is better than a warm and sunny beach day at the Jersey Shore.

“Ocean County has some of the best beaches in the country,” said Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “We certainly want our residents and visitors to enjoy this beautiful resource but everyone must remember to do their part in mitigating the transmission of the COVID-19 virus by adhering to all the social distancing measures and by wearing a mask or face covering when social distancing is not feasible.”

“The Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) wants to encourage people to get outdoors and give themselves a mental health break from the stresses that may have impacted their lives during the pandemic,” advised Daniel Regenye OCHD Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer.  Regenye went on to explain that the beach can be therapeutic and a great place to exercise, jog, walk, fish, relax or to participate in any beach activity that one may enjoy and allows some time to recharge.

Mental health experts recommend breaking away from technology by putting the phone down, stepping away from the computer, and turning off the TV and social media whenever possible. The pandemic has been a serious challenge for many people and has led to stress, depression, anxiety, and a feeling of confinement. Try these tips while at the beach to relieve some of the stresses due to the pandemic;

 

  • Turn off the phone and enjoy a nice nap under an umbrella.
  • Read a book on a topic you enjoy.
  • Meditate.
  • Take a leisurely stroll on the beach after the crowds have left for the day.
  • Exercise.
  • Listen to your favorite music.
  • Spend quality time with family.

 

Your physical health is just as important as your mental health and the beach is a good place to get out and exercise while clearing the mind. Activities and sports such as surfing, body boarding, swimming, jogging, volleyball and even a casual stroll on the sand are all fun and good ways for people of all ages to get outdoors to refresh, recharge and even soak up some vitamin D – the healthy nutrient the sun provides the body.

Since many people can’t exercise at the gym or health club, then moving some of the workout outdoors to the sun and sand is a great idea. However,

keep in mind personal safety is still a priority. Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regime; stay hydrated; use sun lotions with a UVA protection of 30 or higher; sunglasses and hats are also important protection; swim in areas only protected by lifeguards.

And while the beach may feel like the perfect personal sanctuary and an escape from the pandemic, keep in mind we still share the beach with others and must be mindful of the ways to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“Ocean County beaches have so many visitors coming from different parts of the country and it’s easy to let our guard down while enjoying the serenity and beauty the beach can offer,” Regenye said. “But neglecting to adhere to the mandated social distancing protocols and not wearing a face covering can seriously stall the progress Ocean County has made in recent weeks and potentially putting us in the same situation many other states are currently experiencing by easing many of these restrictions and guidelines.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests these critical tips while at the beach;

 

  • Keep your blankets and chairs a good 6 feet away from your nearest neighbors.
  • Don’t share food, drinks, equipment, toys and supplies with people you don’t live with.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Sneeze and cough into a tissue or sleeve.
  • Wear a face covering if social distancing isn’t feasible. (Especially if waiting in line for restrooms, food vendors, or any activity that brings people in close distance of others).
  • Stay home if sick.
  • Children under 2 should never wear a face covering.
  • Follow all posted and announced beach guidelines related to COVID-19 and other safety rules.

 

“Many Ocean County residents live here because they enjoy the ocean and beaches as do the visitors that come every summer,” Little continued. “But during the pandemic, all beachgoers must respect the safety of others as well as their own. It doesn’t matter how healthy you may feel, remember you can still transmit the COVID-19 virus when infected even when you’re asymptomatic.”

For more information regarding COVID-19 guidelines please visit the OCHD website at www.ochd.org. The OCHD is also providing a general COVID-19 Information Call Hot Line for residents and clinicians to answer questions regarding the coronavirus. The number is 732-341-9700 ext. 7411.

 

The NJDOH (NJPIES) hotline is available for questions around the clock at 1-800-222-1222 or by dialing 2-1-1.  Other related sources; for medical COVID-19 questions call 1-800-962-1253 (24/7) or Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive alerts.

 

Additional information can be found at:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at:

https:/ /www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/summary.html

or New Jersey Department of Health website at:

https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml