Sandbridge lifeguards show News 3 how they are operating during the pandemic

Posted at 12:04 PM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 17:06:25-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Modifications for lifeguards are in place as they work to keep you safe on the beach as the pandemic continues.

News 3 met up with lifeguards in Sandbridge as they showed us what they are doing differently in a coronavirus world.

The beaches are open and have been used for exercising, recreation and relaxation. They’ve helped many people get through the pandemic and given parents a place to bring the kids.

The lifeguards in Sandbridge demonstrated one of their drills to News 3 recently.

They said COVID-19 has forced them to make adjustments to their daily routine, some starting before they even get down to the beach.

Captain Kaleigh Zehr of the Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services said, “Every day before reporting to work our personnel have to do a wellness screening. They do that online before they come in to work.”

She said the screenings asks them about their health and if they’ve had a fever.

Zehr said they’re stocked up with additional equipment, PPE and sanitizer. She said they wipe down vehicles and the lifeguard stands.

“Sanitizing our medical equipment has been something else we’ve had an increased focus on since the pandemic,” Zehr said.

The stands have been in place since Memorial Day, and the extra cautions have been in place since March.

Zehr said they have had to make changes to their training system. She said the classes are smaller to accommodate safety precautions.

Lifeguards work to keep their distance from the public when possible and wear masks when interacting.

They said the same rules apply as before.

“Swim near a lifeguard, make sure you stay hydrated, bring a charged phone and plenty of sunscreen, and we’ll see you at the beach,” Zehr said.