Long Beach Boardwalk. (Credit: City of Long Beach/Facebook)

The City of Long Beach is closing its iconic boardwalk to as of 8 p.m. Thursday until further notice to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the city said.

Many parks have remained open across Long Island, allowing residents an outlet amid work, school, and socialization restrictions designed to keep the virus from spreading to a rate it will overwhelm the hospital system, but Long Beach officials determined the public wasn’t practicing proper social distancing on the boardwalk.

“We cannot allow our boardwalk, the heart of our city, to become a major venue for transmission,” Long Beach City Council President John Bendo said. “Long Beach is a very densely populated community with a disproportionally high number of first responders and health care providers who call the city home. For your own health and theirs, this is a measure we need to take.”

The beach will remain open, although access will be limited by the boardwalk closure.

“Police officers will continue to patrol the boardwalk and monitor the cameras placed throughout,” Bendo added. “In addition to the beach, we recommend you walk or bike your immediate neighborhood to get some fresh air or exercise…while practicing social distancing, of course.”

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.