Published On: Sat, May 23rd, 2020

What Memorial Day weekend will look like amid the coronavirus pandemic

The unofficial start of summer kicks off this Memorial Day weekend with restrictions loosened in all 50 states – and some Americans are planning to get and enjoy the good weather.

But going to the beach is going to have a very different feel this summer. Almost every coastal state opened some shores as of Friday – many with take-it-or-leave-it restrictions, Michael George reported for “CBS This Morning: Saturday.”

On Los Angeles beaches, coolers, umbrellas and groups sports are not allowed.  

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has positioned fencing near beaches to be used for crowd control. Beachgoers there cannot swim or participate in group activities. 

On Lake Michigan, restrooms will be closed.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb urged people to go outside, recharge and take in fresh air, but to “do it responsibly, do it safely.”

One community pool in the state will be open complete with a new 45-person limit and sanitized beach chairs. Jenny Miles, manager of the Forest Hills Community Pool, said they’re putting trust in members and hoping everyone will follow the rules. 

Virus Outbreak Virginia
Beach Ambassador Kyla Miller, left, stands ready to help visitors to the oceanfront Friday, May 22, 2020, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where Governor Ralph Northam lifted restrictions and opened the beachfront beginning Friday.

Steve Helber/AP

Memorial Day weekend 2020 arrives after a week that saw over 150,000 new known COVID-19 cases and more than 8,000 deaths in the United States, along with persistent unknowns.  

“There may be a lot of people under 30 that have the virus and are shedding the virus and aren’t aware that they have the virus,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

“So proactive monitoring, proactive testing, will become absolutely critical to find these asymptomatic cases,” she said Friday.

Concern about a second wave of infections from opening too much too soon may have borne out in Montgomery County, Alabama, where the number of positive coronavirus cases more than doubled in the last two weeks after stay-home orders were eased.

“I think we reopened the economy too soon, and I think that people did not adhere to some of the social distancing guidelines,” said Montgomery, Alabama, Mayor Steven Reed.

Meanwhile, air travel is down 88% this weekend compared to last year’s Memorial Day weekend. On Friday, the car rental company Hertz files for bankruptcy protection amid pandemic, unable to withstand the coronavirus pandemic.

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