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York Shutters Beaches As Out-Of-Towners Congregate

The Town of York has closed its beaches in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

In a letter on Monday, Town Manager Stephen Burns announced that the town’s four beaches would be closed indefinitely. Burns says the decision came after reports of large groups of visitors to area parks and beaches – many from out of town. He says so many people packed into a small space at the beach went against recommendations from state and federal officials.

“And it’s important for us that that messaging be consistent. If it’s supposed to be, social distancing, don’t congregate, that’s what we have to reinforce. That’s really what we’re after,” he says.

Burns says while he doesn’t expect anyone to be prosecuted for violating the order, he hopes that increased signage will discourage day trippers from visiting.

“But I want those traffic messaging signs out. It will get a measure of compliance, just with that messaging. And it will reduce the crowds. That’s the goal,” he says.

Burns says the town also saw increased traffic at local Mt. Agamenticus, though he says that is less concerning because visitors can more easily spread out in that park.

The town says it expects to lift the closure when the state’s public health emergency “is under control.”