Now that we have entered Phase Three and summer is upon us, we need to pause and think about where we were 12 weeks ago, and that we must still employ precautions and common sense to avoid a resurgence of the virus.

The city has taken steps to encourage social distancing by painting strips every six feet on the downtown sidewalks. Although a handful of merchants and the public have felt it was ill conceived, others feel it is a great idea. Media outlets have made it a positive broadcast image that Long Beach cares about their citizens and tourists. We are also deploying hand sanitizer stations in high-traffic areas for all to use.

But the city can only do so much! It is imperative that citizens do their part and take steps to stay safe and healthy. With the Fourth of July coming, we know people are going to come to our beach. The city has worked with Washington State Parks, Pacific County Health Department, Pacific County Fire District #1, Washington State Patrol, Ocean Park Chamber, and others to send a unified message about the Do’s and Don’ts while visiting our Long Beach Peninsula.

The following guidelines apply:

• We encourage you to wear a mask when in public and wash your hands frequently.

• If you or a member of your family is ill, please do not visit the beach.

• Observe physical distancing protocols in all outdoor activities, including on the beach.

• Spread out: Large groups of people from different households shouldn’t congregate together.

• Clean up after yourself: If you pack it in, pack it out! No one should ever have to clean up after you.

• All fires must be at least 100 feet away from dune vegetation, smaller than 4 feet in diameter and height. Fires need to be controllable and extinguished (with water — not buried) before leaving.

• Keep fireworks in legal areas and put them out (with water — not buried) before disposing of them.

• Law enforcement will be out patrolling, citing and, if necessary, making arrests.

• Please do your part to keep our community safe and healthy this 4th of July!

As citizens of Long Beach, we must always stay safe. Covid-19 is not going away, and the Health Department thinks the rate is still going up. Although it has not been mandated to wear a mask at all times, it is critical to understand the increased risk of spread of the virus when not wearing a mask or wearing a mask. Use common sense as you do with colds and the flu — cover your sneeze or cough, stay home if ill or you have symptoms, practice social distancing, and wear a mask.

Remember, we are all in this together, and it is only through taking safety measures that we can ensure the health of all citizens. Be respectful of others; treat each other with dignity and respect. We will get through this as a community by following good health protocols.

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