Last week, Rehoboth Beach announced three of the beach patrol’s lifeguards had tested positive for COVID-19. Now, it’s up to 13.
Rehoboth spokesperson Krys Johnson said Monday, July 6, that as of July 5, 13 lifeguards had tested positive. Just a couple of them were exhibiting symptoms of any kind, she said.
Earlier this spring, because of COVID-19, Rehoboth Beach Police Chief Keith Banks was put in charge of the beach patrol for this summer. During a special meeting June 30, Banks said the city hired 55 lifeguards this year.
“We haven’t had to shut any beaches down at this time and we don’t foresee that happening,” said Banks during the meeting.
Johnson said Beach Patrol Capt. Kent Buckson is able to reconfigure lifeguards where they are needed most. Testing will continue this week, she said.
The announcement of additional COVID-19-positive lifeguards comes less than a week after Rehoboth commissioners voted unanimously in favor of requiring face masks on all public streets, public sidewalks, public parks, the beach and all commercial establishments. Everyone over 12 years old must cover their nose and mouth in public places. The order applies to all persons, including bicyclists. The new requirement went into effect at 5 p.m., July 1. Face masks have been recommended in all those locations and required on the Boardwalk since mid-May.