Silvershell Beach parking lot to reopen on May 22

May 19, 2020

MARION — Though state park parking lots and beaches aren’t open yet, the Marion Board of Health voted at a video meeting on May 19 to reopen the parking lot to Silvershell Beach on May 22.

Stickers will be required for entry and the town has worked to reconstruct the parking lot to maintain social distancing between cars. 

Following state restrictions, the bath house will be closed. But Town Administrator Jay McGrail said that it doesn’t open until the end of June anyway. 

Marion Police will be enforcing social distancing and giving out citations for those who do not comply. 

Although a car crashed into the beach’s parking lot gate earlier in the day, recreation department executive director Jody Dickerson said that the gate will be replaced and ready in time for Friday. In the meantime, Chief John Garcia said at the meeting that they will put something up to block off the entrance.

Public Health Nurse Kathy Downey updated members on the Covid-related work she has been doing. 

She said her office has received a lot of complaints from residents about others not wearing masks in public or in businesses. 

“The anxiety level over covid is so high -- and rightfully so -- that we will see more complaints,” Downey said.

Earlier in the evening at the Board of Selectmen meeting, board member Dr. Edward Hoeffer said he saw this issue firsthand when he went into an auto body shop and saw one customer with a mask, one without, and one wearing it on their chin. 

“We’re not asking people to fast for 40 days and 40 nights,” said Dr. Hoffer about asking residents to wear masks and businesses to enforce policies that require customers to wear them. 

The board said that if it finds out a business isn’t enforcing masks, it would have to work with the Board of Health to meet compliance, and if it still didn't after, the board of health would determine further consequences.