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Western New Yorkers keep distance, enjoy sun at Bennett Beach

Capacity will be limited to 50 percent, and beach towels and blankets must be spaced 10 feet apart.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Western New York leaders are reminding people that a lower number of COVID-19 cases and deaths doesn't mean the pandemic has vanished.

A number of people are concerned that social distancing is going out the window as people return to places like Bennett Beach, which recently reopened.

When 2 On Your Side stopped by Bennett Beach on Sunday, signs were in place and people seemed to be staying apart and keeping safe.

Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commissioner Troy Schinzel said lifeguards were lined up and ready for Bennett Beach's reopening on Friday.

Capacity will be limited to 50 percent, and beach towels and blankets must be spaced 10 feet apart.

Schinzel said that hopefully playgrounds in county parks will open sometime this week once swings are hung and new signs are installed.

He reminds parents that county workers will not be sanitizing playground equipment and encourages the use of hand sanitizer. Clubhouses and restrooms will be open starting Friday.

“Playgrounds and exercise equipment are not sanitized, so we suggest you bring your own hand sanitizer, and use at your own risk,” Schinzel said.

Added Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein: “You want to have small groups of people that are probably under ten. You want to celebrate outside rather than inside to reduce the risk of transmission. You want to limit any type of direct close contact with the individual, and make sure that if you can, if it’s somebody who’s not living in your home, to stay six-feet apart from them or more."

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