Seashells pile up on North Carolina beaches as coronavirus keeps tourists away

The dearth of tourists on the beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks due to the coronavirus pandemic has created a seashell-lover’s dream.

The Cape Lookout National Seashore shared a video to Facebook showing large piles of colorful shells spread across a beach as waves splash over them.

“Postcards from the beach — Need your beach fix?” the park service said.

The shells are usually gathered by beach-goers every spring, but the number of collectors has been sharply curtailed due to coronavirus restrictions.

Some of the people who commented on the post speculated that the shells could be piled “about a foot high” by the time visitors are allowed to visit the area again.

“I know some kids who would like to pick some of these,” one person wrote.

According to the Charlotte Observer, beaches at the Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras national seashores in the Outer Banks are open during the pandemic to residents.

But park facilities are closed, including cabins, camps and restrooms.

Dare County, which includes most of the Outer Banks, has set up roadblocks to prevent visitors from heading to the popular tourist spot.

“These restrictions may be inconvenient, disappointing and have financial impacts, however, they were made in the interest of public safety to limit the spread of COVID-19,” the Dare County Emergency Center said in an email to the News & Observer.

As of Saturday, there are 6,198 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina with at least 181 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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