Ocean Isle Beach-goers practice social distancing on the shore

Beach-goers practice social distancing on the shore

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - With the weather turning warm, the beach is often a go to location for many. But in these trying times beach access has been severely restricted.

The restrictions are different in Brunswick County. In Ocean Isle Beach, public parking and beach access is restricted. That didn’t stop hundreds of people from soaking up the sun Friday.

WECT’s Gabe Ross spoke to more than a dozen beach-goers. Other than three individuals who indicated they were from out of town, the rest identified as residents of the town, saying the beach was their last form of refuge from the news of COVID-19.

“I’m definitely ready for this to be over and then go back to our lives,” said nurse and Ocean Isle Beach resident, Kim Izzell. She and fellow nurse Kelly Chavis were on the beach Friday with chairs spaced six feet apart. “Honestly, I feel less worried about being on the beach than I would in the grocery store.”

“As long as everybody practices social distancing and hand washing," added Chavis. "I have wipes in my bag, Kim and I are trying to keep out distance and we’re not sharing food or water or anything like that.”

Ocean Isle beach residents and Nurses Kim Izzell and Kelly Chavis practice social distancing while sitting on the shore.
Ocean Isle beach residents and Nurses Kim Izzell and Kelly Chavis practice social distancing while sitting on the shore. (Source: WECT)

Chavis, Izzell and others expect the beach to be packed this weekend. They just hope visitors keep their distance and make smart choices.

States of emergency have been issued in other Brunswick County beaches and communities, limiting the number of people gathered in one place to no more than ten, and in some cases closing off public parking.

In New Hanover County, Wrightsville Beach police could be seen patrolling the shores, as caution tape covered foot traffic access. In Carolina Beach, wooden barriers were placed along all entrances to the boardwalk.

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