Jenkinson’s Beach and Boardwalk, Pt Pleasant, NJ

(Toms River) – We call it “Locals’ Summer” and you’re invited! Several beaches in Ocean County have chosen to extend their season through the month of September and, with any luck from Mother Nature, into October.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us on some level and made summer seem like it just came and went for many,” said Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer. “The weather has been great and the water is clean so why not extend summer a little longer this year and enjoy what many of us locals call the best beach months because of the smaller crowds with slightly cooler temperatures and the ocean water typically still stays warm.”

Did you know that Ocean County has some of the highest quality, most frequented beaches and water quality in the United States? Each year the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) and its Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program (CCMP) ensures that over one thousand individual Ocean County water samples are laboratory tested for quality and clarity. Through this continuous quality control process, our residents and visitors alike can rest assured that their visits to our beaches will be safe, fun and memorable.

“There is no shortage of effort or academic capital that goes into ensuring the quality of our manicured beaches and our clear, blue waters and we want everyone to visit and enjoy all that Ocean County has to offer,” explained Peter Curatolo, Ocean County Health Department Chief of Administrative Services.  “Ocean water quality in particular has been outstanding this year. Our coastal ocean beaches and waterways continue to impress and provide lasting memories for all who visit. Sun, sand, surf, boardwalks and world-class restaurants are all here for everyone to enjoy. So pack a bag and we hope to see you at the Shore!”   

But the OCHD is urging residents and visitors to remember the important safety protocols when recreating at our beaches, local eating establishments and retailers.

 “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 the pandemic isn’t over and we need everyone 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 when appropriate.”

Regenye added that the beach can be very therapeutic and the perfect environment to mentally recharge and clear your mind. “Whether you just like to relax, do some fishing or enjoy boating activities – the summer is still here and going strong. If you do swim, make sure you find beaches that still have life guards on duty and never swim alone.”

Even though it’s later in the season, don’t forget to stay hydrated and use sun lotions with a UVA protection of 30 or higher. Sunglasses and hats are also important protection from the sun.

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.”

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, we invite you to come and enjoy our extended summer. Ocean County – A GREAT Place to Live, Work and Recreate!       

For more information regarding the CCMP water testing program or 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: