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RIDOH: First Beach Unsafe For Swimming

[CREDIT: RIDOH] The RI Department of Health has closed First Beach in Newport to swimming due to high bacteria levels.

"[CREDIT:

NEWPORT, RI —The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) has recommended closing Easton’s Beach (also known as First Beach) in Newport for swimming due to high bacteria levels.

The health department has also closed Gooseberry Beach, Hazard’s Beach and Almy Pond in Newport for swimming, also because of high bacteria levels.

In Warwick, Goddard Park swimming, closed for bacterial levels June 11, was reopened June 13. Easton’s Beach was also reopened after a closure on that date, but has since been closed a second time.

To check the status of beaches, use the Beach Viewer map. This map also reflects the most up-to-date information on water quality status at licensed beaches in Rhode Island.

According to the RI Department of Health website,  closures are based on the concentration of Enterocci bacteria in beach water samples is measured in cfu/100ml (colony forming units per 100 milliliters). Beach closures are based on results of more than 60 cfu/100 ml in salt water and in fresh water.

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RIDOH will continue to monitor and review beach water quality regularly to ensure safe bathing throughout the summer. The status of a beach may change as new data become available. The most up-to-date beach information is available through a recorded message on RIDOH’s beaches telephone line (401-222-2751).

COVID-19 precautions at the beach

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made this beach season unique. The beach experience will be different for visitors than in previous years. RIDOH strongly recommends that whether in the sand or the waves, beachgoers follow physical distancing guidelines, keeping a minimum distance of six feet from people outside their household or stable group.

While at the beach this summer, it is recommended that you wear a face covering in any crowded area (for example, the bathroom, concessions areas, or parking lots during busy times). However, face coverings are not required when you are easily, continuously, and measurably at least six feet from others. Face coverings should not be worn while swimming or playing in the water. When you follow these guidelines, you are doing your part to keep yourself and others safe and healthy.

Rob Borkowski
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Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.