NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City’s beaches will open for the summer.

Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed Tuesday night that city beaches can officially open on July 1 and swimming will be permitted.

The city says they have hundreds of lifeguards trained and ready to go.

The mayor has previously voiced concerns about reopening beaches too soon because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The situation where you’re going to group tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people in the same place is a more sensitive decision,” de Blasio said earlier this month.

Other ways to cool off, however, remain shuttered, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reports.

Normally when the temperature hits 80 degrees, spray showers at city parks are turned on, a very simple way to beat the heat. But right now, they’re bone dry.

“I think they should be turned back on actually because you can still social distance while they’re on,” Shenae Osborn, of Midtown, said.

“It gets really hot in the summer and there’s not much kids can do,” one boy said.

Last month, the mayor’s office talked about mapping out spray showers and using misting equipment in sitting areas. So where are they?

We’re told an update is coming this week.

“You’re going to see a lot of Parks Department efforts to create sprinklers and other kinds of ways for people to cool down,” de Blasio said.

RELATED STORY: Mayor De Blasio Says There Will Be A ‘Conversation’ Soon About Possibly Opening NYC Pools

There’s still no word on if or when city pools will open.

“I would usually be going to Van Cortlandt Pool. But now because of this whole pandemic I’m just gonna be, like, staying at home,” one boy said.

With so many people at home, thoughts turn to the power grid and the potential for blackouts.

The city says it’s monitoring that closely and note that, balancing that out, many buildings that use a lot of energy are still shut down.

RELATED STORY: With Summer Starting, Local Power Companies Say They’re Ready

The city had announced free air conditioners to low-income seniors, about 74,000 total.

As of nearly two weeks ago, only 4,500 had been installed. New numbers haven’t been released.

There’s also a plan to open cooling centers as needed, keeping social distancing in mind, so some non-traditional sites may be used, like sports venues and auditoriums.

Those, we’re told, won’t be announced until day of.

In the meantime, some say, “You just work with what you got.” Even if all you got is a water gun.


Leave a Reply