SUMMER 2020: Social Distancing Recommendations for Copake Lake

Like all our members, we’re closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We take the health and well-being of our beloved Copake community very seriously, and we have compiled some recommended guidelines to follow in order to protect ourselves and others, particularly the most vulnerable, in this Summer of COVID-19.  

We all have become familiar with the concept of “social distancing” over the past few months, but what does this mean for us as a small, close-knit community? Please read through this important information and share with your family, friends and neighbors.   

Photo by Cherie Berk

Are there Guidelines for Lakes & Recreational Water Activities?

NYS marinas, boatyards, and marine manufacturers were opened for personal use on April 18th as long as strict social distancing and sanitization protocols are followed. A good rule of thumb for Copake Lake users as we work to keep our community healthy and safe is to follow the guidelines New York State has established for allowing access to DEC and State Parks boat launches. These guidelines are rooted in the recommendations of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) as well as the NY State Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:

  • Try to keep at least six feet of distance between you and others. This does not apply to your family members or others with whom you have been self-isolating.
  • Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands.
  • Wash hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as railings, posts, benches, and tie-off cleats.
  • Wear a mask or face covering in public when appropriate social distancing cannot be maintained. For example, if you are on your own boat, safely distanced from other boats, you do not need a face covering.

What specifically does this mean for us at Copake Lake?

We all need to be following the CDC guidelines in situations like these:

  • Anchoring in the Cove. Boats should be sufficiently distanced (6 feet apart or more), and should you choose to swim, individuals should maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others in the water.
  • Traveling walkways between boat slips in the marinas, which are too narrow to allow for a six-foot distance. We need to consider these dock lengths to be “one-way streets.” If someone else is already on the walkway and heading toward you, allow them to step off the walkway before you enter the lane. If there is someone already on the walkway heading in the same direction you want to travel, be sure to allow at least six feet between you and the person ahead of you.
  • Pulling into the Gas Dock. This summer Copake Lake Boat & Ski will only allow one person in the boat when coming to get gas and that person will be required to wear a mask or facial covering. Watercraft operators who do not adhere to these rules will be turned away. When you depart the gas dock you may remove your mask and should immediately use hand sanitizer.
  • Walking on Lakeview Road. It has been wonderful to see so many people out walking and enjoying views of our beautiful lake. Once again, we should treat each shoulder of Lakeview Road as a one-way street. Per NYS Vehicle and Traffic Laws, pedestrians should walk on the left, against traffic; Bicyclists should travel on the right shoulder, with traffic. Be sure to maintain a six-foot distance between yourself and others walking ahead of you.
  • No Large Community Gatherings. In this unique and unprecedented summer of COVID-19, we need to avoid crowded, in-person gatherings. With respect to HOA meetings, if it is not possible to have your association’s meeting in person and maintain safe social distancing, we recommend that you hold it virtually. In general this summer residents should avoid close contact with groups of people. Public health experts agree that large gatherings with people making sustained close contact are a place where the novel coronavirus can easily infect many people quickly and continue its spread. 
  • Annual CLCS fundraising and social events will look different this year. As muchas we all enjoy the Summer Bash, catching up on the state of our lake at the Annual Meeting, and gathering for the Labor Day Raffle, we will need to do these events mostly virtually, rather than in person, this year. Please know that the CLCS will continue to monitor and treat the lake, despite the pandemic. The Copake Lake environment requires care, and that takes money. We are going to need the support of our members more than ever in this year when our traditional fundraising events cannot be held in their usual formats.
Photo by Jodi Disch

Is it safe to swim in Copake Lake during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

According to the CDC, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through the water. They advise that you limit close contact with people outside your home in public spaces, both in and out of the water. Individuals should continue to protect themselves while using the lake both in and out of the water – for example, by practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene.

We are all in this together.

Photo by Deborah Sprague

COVID-19 may have changed the world, but the costs of caring for the lake have not changed. Copake Lake invasive weed and algae treatments will proceed as planned for 2020. Please continue to support CLCS with your donations