'Social distancing ambassadors' to patrol New Jersey beaches and keep visitors apart

The volunteers and health officials will hand out educational materials.

May 13, 2020, 10:18 AM

Lifeguards won’t be the only ones on duty keeping beachgoers safe in one New Jersey beach town this summer.

Cape May's health officials said they will deploy “social distancing ambassadors” to the beach and boardwalks to ensure that visitors remain six feet apart to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The ambassadors, who are Cape May health department staff members and volunteers of its Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), will wear vests with the county seal.

PHOTO: Cyclists ride their bicycles in Cape May, N.J., March 18, 2020.
Cyclists ride their bicycles in Cape May, N.J., March 18, 2020.
Matt Rourke/AP

“Cape May County Department of Health wants to remind residents and visitors to continue taking action to slow the spread of COVID-19. By protecting yourself and others you can help save lives,” Kevin Thomas, the Cape May County health officer, said in a statement.

Cape May beaches reopened on May 2 for a limited number of activities including exercising and fishing. Sunbathing and large group gatherings are prohibited and visitors must wear face coverings.

Thomas said the ambassadors will be part of Cape May’s “Six Feet Saves” campaign to educate the public on coronavirus precautions. The ambassadors will hand out educational material to beachgoers.

PHOTO: A family feeds seagulls on the beach in Cape May, New Jersey, Oct. 27, 2012.
A family feeds seagulls on the beach in Cape May, New Jersey, Oct. 27, 2012.
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images, File

The county had 462 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 32 related deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to data from the state and the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. New Jersey has 140,206 confirmed cases and 9,340 fatalities, according to the data.

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