Albemarle County beaches remain closed throughout the summer due to staffing issues

Updated: May. 19, 2020 at 11:00 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - It’s going to feel like a very long and hot summer for people wanting to take a dip at the beach. The Albemarle County Parks and Recreation Department say it is staffing issues amid the pandemic that caused the decision to keep beaches closed.

Before COVID-19 hit, Albemarle County staff were getting ready to start the hiring process.

“The lifeguarding courses for the spring were all canceled so our seasonal staff wasn’t able to get re-certified this spring,” Amy Smith, with Albemarle County Parks and Recreation, said.

Unfortunately, that leaves people in the area with new swimsuits, but with few places to wear them. All three beaches; Chris Greene Lake, Mint Springs Valley Park, and Walnut Creek Park will remain closed.

“There's no swimming in county lakes unless a lifeguard is on duty,” Smith said.

While people may not be able to soak up some sun on the sand, county parks are still open for recreational use.

“People can still get out and enjoy the parks on a beautiful day, they can kayak down the river, they put in a boat launch up on 29 and take it out at Darden Towe Park,” Smith said.

If all goes well in the coming months, and COVID-19 cases trend down, staff may be able to open up other parks to the public.”

“We hope later on in the summer that we open up our playgrounds and tennis courts and basketball courts and our athletic fields,” Smith said.

Summer camp, classes, and recreation programs are canceled for the summer. Field reservations are also not available at this time.

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