The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) today announced re-opening Easton’s Beach (also known as First Beach) in Newport and Goddard State Park Beach in Warwick for swimming because bacteria counts have returned to safe levels.

RIDOH will continue to monitor the water quality regularly to assure safe bathing throughout the summer season. The status of a beach may change as new data become available. The most up-to-date beach information is available through a recorded message on RIDOH’s beaches telephone line (401-222-2751) and at www.health.ri.gov.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made this beach season unique. The beach experience will be different for visitors than in previous years. RIDOH strongly recommends that whether in the sand or the waves, beachgoers follow physical distancing guidelines, keeping a minimum distance of six feet from people outside their household or stable group. While at the beach this summer, it is recommended that you wear a face covering in any crowded area (for example, the bathroom, concessions areas, or parking lots during busy times). However, face coverings are not required when you are easily, continuously, and measurably at least six feet from others. Face coverings should not be worn while swimming or playing in the water. When you follow these guidelines, you are doing your part to keep yourself and others safe and healthy.

Original Story – June 12th at 8:18 am

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) today announced that Goddard Park Beach in Warwick and Easton’s Beach (also known as First Beach) in Newport will be closed for swimming because of high bacteria levels.

RIDOH says they will continue to monitor and review beach water quality to ensure safe bathing and will update the status of a beach as new data become available.

According to RIDOH, historically, beach closures in Rhode Island have been closely tied to precipitation. Stormwater runoff from roads, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces transports contamination (including bacteria) to our fresh and salt-water bodies.

The concentration of Enterocci bacteria in beach water samples is measured in cfu/100ml (colony forming units per 100 milliliters). Beach closures are based on exceedances of more than 60 cfu/100 ml in saltwater and in freshwater.

RIDOH also says the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made this beach season unique, “The beach experience will be different for visitors than in previous years. RIDOH strongly recommends that whether in the sand or the waves, beachgoers follow physical distancing guidelines, keeping a minimum distance of six feet from people outside their household or stable group. While at the beach this summer, it is recommended that you wear a face covering in any crowded area (for example, the bathroom, concessions areas, or parking lots during busy times). However, face coverings are not required when you are easily, continuously, and measurably at least six feet from others. Face coverings should not be worn while swimming or playing in the water. When you follow these guidelines, you are doing your part to keep yourself and others safe and healthy”.

The 2020 beach monitoring season started on May 26th.

The most up-to-date beach information is available through a recorded message on RIDOH’s beaches telephone line (401-222-2751) and is also available here.

2020 Beach Season Closures

[Click table headers to sort that column]

BeachCity/TownClosed OnRe-OpenedNumber of Days Closed
2020 Statewide (for bacteria)    
Easton’s BeachNewport6/11/2020  
Goddard State Park BeachWarwick6/11/2020  

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