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Morro Bay braces for big crowds at the beach this Labor Day weekend

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Posted at 5:31 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 01:04:27-04

Labor Day weekend is approaching and for the Central Coast, that could mean even larger crowds.

"It is Labor Day weekend, the last big hurrah of the summer. We're expecting some pretty large crowds," said Eric Endersby, City of Morro Bay Harbor Director.

Visitors are expected to flock to Morro Bay with beach closures or restrictions planned for Monterey and Santa Barbara counties this holiday weekend.

"We'll have a full contingent of lifeguards on the beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., maybe a little later depending on how the crowds are and what the weather does," Endersby said.

All three lifeguard towers will be staffed at Morro Rock Beach. They'll make sure beachgoers are social distancing.

"We'll get a little bit of crowding that we've had to address with folks right near the parking lot," Endersby added.

More restrooms, trash cans, and recycling bins will also go up.

"Even with additional staffing it's hard to keep up with the capacity issue because it's all takeout dining," said Scott Collins, Morro Bay City Manager.

San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein is reminding people that we're still in a pandemic.

"We want very much to honor all of our workers but please, please do so safely, in small numbers," Dr. Borenstein said.

Many people hit our local beaches on Memorial Day weekend and again for the 4th of July.

Two weeks later, COVID-19 cases went up by 40 after Memorial Day and then by 495 after Independence Day, according to data from the Public Health Department.

Meantime, businesses on the Embarcadero are also bracing for a surge of visitors.

"Usually Labor weekend is a good weekend in general because it's the last weekend in summer so a lot of people will stop by and come in, so we're hoping this year would also be a strong one," said Sophia Tolle, owner of Poppy boutique.

"Expect delays, expect traffic, and just be patient," Collins said.

For those at the beach, the Harbor Director says they've seen an increase in stingrays this year because the water is a little bit warmer. He says shuffling your feet could prevent getting stung.