A Jersey Shore mayor said closing boardwalks is "the dumbest thing I ever heard" as more communities are making decisions about the status of their beaches.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small told New Jersey 101.5 morning host Bill Spadea that his decision to keep the boardwalk open adbides with Gov. Phil Murphy's executive order encouraging social distancing to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"He also said, and a lot of people didn't get this, that he encourages people to get outside, exercise when they can while practicing good social distancing and the city of Atlantic City's boardwalk is a city street. We want people taking walks, getting fresh air," Small told Spadea. "Being in the house all the time can fracture one's psyche. So getting out on our boardwalk, catching that ocean breeze, just taking a walk or riding your bike can be very theraputic during a time like this."

Earlier, Small told the Press of Atlantic City that closing the boardwalk is “the dumbest thing I ever heard”

Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian closed the beaches and boardwalks because of the city's large senior population, which appears to be most vulnerable to COVID-19.  The mayor is also concerned that  warmer weather will bring people to Ocean City who are not mindful of social distancing.

The small Ocean County borough of Island Heights announced their beaches, parks, docks and boardwalk are closed in the interest of protecting residents, first responders and public employees.

Seaside Heights closed its beach and Point Pleasant Beach and Spring Lake Heights closed their boardwalks.

Asbury Park and neighboring Bradley Beach beaches remain open but will be monitored to make sure social distancing is practiced by visitors.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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