Jersey Shore businesses gradual reopening amid COVID-19 pandemic

CAPE MAY COUNTY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The gradual reopening, following the coronavirus pandemic, could not have come at a better time for hard-hit businesses down at the Jersey shore.

"We couldn't wait to get out this is our first trip," said David Brand from Pittsburgh.

Many parents say they're glad it's finally warm enough to stick their toes in the sand and have family fun. "The opportunity to sit out on the beach and let the kids roam around and play has been a fantastic experience," said Jackie Behr from Lancaster. "It makes it feel a little bit more normal for us."

But social distancing rules still apply on the beach, and lifeguards say they've been given new CPR instructions. "We have a mask that stops the person from giving us coronavirus," said Zack Harris, a lifeguard with Stone Harbor Beach Patrol. "At the end of the day, it's more about saving someone's life."

With more people on the beach means hotels are booking up. Ron Gorodesky, managing director of the Reeds says they just opened back up this week.

"The hardest day of my life was when I had to lay off over 200 people," said Gorodesky.

Gorodesky says more than half his staff is back. Wearing masks and some working behind sneeze guards. "Anybody that worked for us that wants to come back will have a job," he added.

Social Distancing Ambassadors around Cape May County have been stressing to people, encouraging them to wear a face mask.

"With the coronavirus, there is no treatment so education is key," said Liberty Kocis, health educator and risk communicator for Cape May County Department of Health.

The Social Distancing Ambassadors have been handing out Purell wipes, masks and educational pamphlets on the coronavirus. They say while it's fun to be down the shore, it's still important to remember there is still a pandemic going on and need to be safe while having fun.
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