Community Update for 5/21/2020
Category : Open/Close
The Board met Monday evening to discuss summer at Estling in these Covid-19 times. In arriving at our conclusions, we primarily relied on the executive orders from the governor, especially the May 14th executive order concerning the opening on Memorial Day of NJ beaches and lakes. We also consulted with a handful of neighboring lakes and local public health officials. Restrictions are beginning to be lifted but our current policies need to be based on what exists now. Hopefully these can be relaxed in the weeks ahead.
We plan to open our beach the weekend of June 20th, the first day that we will have lifeguards on duty. However, due to the restrictions discussed below and continued restrictions on social gatherings, we are cancelling work weekend. Executive Order #143, the governor’s order concerning the opening of beaches and lakes, sets forth very specific restrictions. Executive orders have the legal force of law and must be obeyed and adhered to.
The key provisions that affect us include the closure/non-use of the following:
• The Community House
• Playground equipment, and
• Water “toys” that may be used by others, including kick boards and noodles
Opening of the beach will require that family units remain six feet apart on the beach. For purposes of this restriction a family unit could be as large as ten people or as small as a single person. This will prove to be a difficult provision for us and other local lakes. Some lakes will restrict admission. Others are considering a “sign-up” sheet and limiting time on the beach. To deal with potential overcrowding, Estling will restrict the beach to Estling families only – that is, no guests allowed at this time. Additional restrictions may be needed.
We are required to develop and implement beach operational plans and modified lifeguard training. We are also required to block access to all benches. Importantly, we are instructed to enforce impermissible pubic gathering as previously described in Executive Order #107.
To open the beach we are required by the health department to open our duplex, implementing a frequent cleaning protocol. The board has decided to hire an outside firm to perform this cleaning daily. We will also ask members using the restrooms to wipe down surfaces with CDC approved products. Such products will be supplied by the corporation.
Consistent with, but not specifically addressed by Executive Order # 143, there will be no floats, no diving boards or ladders at the diving dock, no box of toys behind the soda house, and no box to jump off. The perimeter ropes will define the swimming area but the diving dock area will not be part of the swimming area this year as the rope on the left will be on the soda house side of the diving dock. The CDC recommendation regarding use of masks in outdoor settings continues to evolve. Everyone is strongly encouraged by the governor and the health department to wear face coverings when present on the beach as social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
The soda house may be opened. The Ladies Club will make this decision although the board will offer recommendations here.
Gatherings of individuals and social events were cancelled by executive order. Therefore, at this time we do not anticipate holding activities such as land events, water events, song service, community dinners, special programs, etc. Board meetings will be Zoom-based as will the town-hall meeting set for July 1st.
Scott S. has addressed use of the athletic field.
Bob R. as the Director responsible for the beach will ask for volunteers to assist as needed to open the beach. Scott as the director responsible for the athletic field and Kim N. as the director responsible for the community house and duplex will do likewise.
We do not intend to hire janitors or mail delivery persons for the summer. Mail will continue to be delivered to the box by the tennis court where it will be sorted and placed in accordion folders that will be left in the big plastic box. Adults wearing gloves will do the sorting. Likewise, adults wearing gloves will handle garbage collection at the beach.
The executive orders and recommendations, upon which much of the above is based, are fluid. As these change the board will meet to discuss and evaluate the changing circumstances.