CHELMSFORD — Town Manager Paul Cohen and Health Director Susan Rosa report that the Town of Chelmsford has closed Heart Pond and Freeman Lake beaches due to reports of noncompliance with state social distancing guidelines.
Beaches throughout the state were reopened to the public as part of Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan last week. However, several guidelines for visitors were also put in place to ensure the safety of those using the amenities and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These guidelines include practicing social distancing and wearing a mask when maintaining six feet from others is not feasible, and ball games like soccer and football have also temporarily been banned. To read the state’s full list of guidelines, click here.
On Friday, May 22, several signs were installed at both Heart Pond and Freeman Lake beaches listing the guidelines issued by Gov. Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The Chelmsford Board of Health has since received several complaints regarding noncompliance with the guidelines, and multiple members of the Board of Health have also observed noncompliance themselves. As a result, the Town of Chelmsford has closed both beaches in an effort to promote public health amid the ongoing pandemic.
“We regret to announce the closure of both beaches; however, this pandemic is still ongoing and it is critical that everyone adheres to the social distancing guidance that has been issued by the state,” Health Director Susan Rosa said. “We urge residents– continue to practice safe social distancing. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay home when sick. In doing so, you’ll protect yourself, but also others in our community.”
The Board of Health will consider reopening the beaches once further guidance is issued by Gov. Baker and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and/or the guidelines pertaining to social distancing are lifted. Updates will be issued to the community as soon as more information is available.
Additional information and guidance regarding COVID-19 will be posted on the town’s website.