State Closes Parking Along Winthrop Shore Drive

In an effort to better promote social distancing and curb gathering of more than 10 people Gov. Charlie Baker issued an emergency order last Friday requiring all coastal beach reservation parking areas managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to close.

The order applies to parking WInthrop Shore Drive and by Friday morning traffic cones and signs directed drivers away from the beach’s on-street parking areas. On Sunday State Police began towing cars that did not move after the order was given to residents.

State Police began towing cars Sunday along Winthrop Beach that did not listen to the Governor’s parking restriction order for the beach. Photo courtesy of Bob Carroll.

Gov. Baker said the order was to further reduce large concentrations of people at beaches during the COVID-19 outbreak.

WInthrop Beach will remain open and available to pedestrians for transitory use only, i.e. walking, jogging, biking, solitary fishing, etc.

Town Manager Austin Faison and Public Health Director Meredith Hurley have received notification from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) on Tuesday of five additional Winthrop residents with positive cases of COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus. So far 53 total COVID-19 cases have been confirmed since March 15 in Winthrop with one death.

Winthrop officials, Gov. Baker and the DCR continue to stress that if Winthrop Beach or other area parks are crowded, visitors should consider visiting a different location or returning at a later date or time. The Governor and DCR also advises visitors of state parks to:

• Stay within solitary or small groups, and avoid gatherings of ten or more people;

• Practice social distancing of at least six feet between individuals;

• Participate in only non-contact recreational activities;

• Practice healthy personal hygiene, such as handwashing for at least 20 seconds;     Stay home if ill, over 70, and/or part of a vulnerable population.

To centralize COVID-19 updates that impact the state parks system, DCR recently developed a Massachusetts State Parks COVID-19 Updates webpage. Prior to visiting a state parks property, members of the public should review the contents of the webpage. Furthermore, for information about the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, please visit the Department of Public Health’s (DPH) website.

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