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Despite coronavirus closures, Seattle beaches get crowded as hot weather hits

Closed swimming beaches in Seattle are not staffed with lifeguards, and the parks department urges beachgoers to stick to grass and sand areas.

SEATTLE — Warm weather brought many from their homes this weekend, and out to Seattle beaches and parks.

Kanika Green stuck to the edge of a bustling Madison Park on Sunday afternoon after noticing the crowd of people drinking and sunbathing, many without masks.

“I thought I could come to the park and chill out, and when I got here, I realized it wasn’t so chill,” she said.

She worried about the potential for transmission with the large number of people present.

Beyond social distancing issues, the coronavirus pandemic is having other impacts on classic Seattle summer activities. All nine swimming beaches remain closed because of spiking cases in King County, though many ventured into the water at Madison Park.

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Seattle Parks and Recreation notes that the closed beaches do not have lifeguards on duty, and says they are not safe for use. People are welcome to use the sand and grass areas, a spokesperson said.

Still, Reineysha Mcquarter needed to get out of the house and brought her daughter – noting a lack of other options with pools closed. She kept a close eye, without lifeguards.

“If my daughter even wants to go in the sand, she has to have her life jacket,” she said. “Like at all times. And if I can’t see her, she can’t go anywhere.”

Green empathized with those feeling cooped up in dark apartments – but she worried about the spread of coronavirus as people enjoy carefree summer activities. Especially among young people – 20- to 39-year-olds make up 39.22% of cases in Washington.

“The water is something we all look forward to in the summer, so I get it, but it makes it challenging for sure,” she said.