06 May Coronavirus Update May 6, 2020
May 6, 2020
I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. We have refrained from communicating too much over the past few weeks as the situation with our summer continues to change on a weekly basis. We have several important things to tell everyone as the summer approaches and we try to navigate an increasingly complex situation.
We are still preparing the Club to open this summer. To that end, I need to ask everyone who has not done so to return their Family Registration Forms as soon as possible. Importantly, I also have to remind everyone that we are not authorized to open on Memorial Day weekend. We are working with state and local authorities to try to have an opening date, or even a target opening date, for this summer. As of yet, we do not have one. A Memorial Day opening looks increasingly aspirational. It goes without saying that we will not have an Opening Cocktail Party this year. At some point, we hope to re-open in a limited manner, but until we have clarity from the authorities, we must wait. One thing we know for sure is that the swim meets will not happen in July. They have been postponed until August. We will announce other changes as the summer approaches.
Unfortunately, we recently received some very clear instructions from the town of Sea Bright’s Office of Emergency Management. They have directed us to shut our club down entirely until further notice. They do not want anyone at all using our facilities, parking in our parking lot, or passing through our Club to get to the beach. Starting on Thursday, May 7th, our parking lot will be closed and the club premises (buildings, porches and boardwalk) will be closed to everyone but employees. We are required to remove the chairs that we have left out for member’s off-season use. The Sea Bright Police Chief has informed us that the State Police are monitoring the beach clubs’ usage by helicopter and have asked municipal law enforcement to monitor parking lot usage and foot traffic. We have to fully comply with this directive. We also think these coming weeks are being used as a test case. In other words, if we show that we can comply with usage and access restrictions during May, then maybe the authorities can trust us to comply with social distancing guidelines starting later in the summer. We don’t understand why public beaches are open at the same time that ours is closed, and we are working hard to change that situation. If you want to visit our beach, you will need to park in the Sea Bright public parking and walk out on the beach using a public access point. Unfortunately, I have to ask that you please refrain from using our boardwalk for any reason. I know this is difficult because many of us have enjoyed visiting the beach over the past few weeks as the weather has warmed up.
Finally, we have rescheduled the 125th Gala to Saturday, July 10, 2021. It became apparent over the past three weeks that our initial postponement until early September was insufficient. Hopefully, mid-July of 2021 will continue to look as safe as it does now. We will try to commemorate our 125th anniversary in small ways this summer once we have a better sense of how the summer will unfold. I have to thank our 125th Anniversary Committee for all their hard work and perseverance in planning, and then re-scheduling (twice!) our gala and other events.
A month ago, I wrote that this was going to be a different summer. At the time, I didn’t know how different it would be, but the early indication is very different. Let’s hope I’m wrong about this.
As we know more, we will keep you informed.
Brett Lawrence, President