MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Two popular beaches at Lake Nokomis remain closed due to E. coli in the water.
But as WCCO’s Kate Raddatz explains, this closure is different than the other ones this summer.
It’s a perfect sunny day on Lake Nokomis, but no swimmers are here to enjoy it.
“I noticed the yellow tape which is a first for this beach. I’ve never really seen it,” said Bobby Warfield.
Warfield brought his grandkids to go swimming, but they had to make other plans.
“The kids aren’t able to swim and that’s what beaches are for,” said Warfield. “The kids aren’t able to enjoy it and we all have inconveniences in life but kids don’t understand that as well as an adult does.”
Workers were putting up Beach closure signs Wednesday after three swimmers under the age of 10 became sick with a specific strain of E. coli.
The other beach closures this summer at other Minneapolis lakes have followed routine testing that revealed higher bacteria levels in the water.
“This is a far more serious incident than the routine beach closures,” explained Trisha Robinson with the Minnesota Department of Health.
Before the Lake Nakomis beach closures, there hasn’t been a closure due to illness by the Minnesota Department of Health since 2013.
The children who got sick swam in the lake between July 26 and Aug. 1.
Health officials think this strain may have been caused by an ill swimmer going in the water.
“We don’t know if there was any ongoing risk yesterday when the beach was closed and that’s what we’re trying to identify,” Robinson said.
People and their pets aren’t taking any chances.
“Luckily he’s a pretty smart pooch. He knew what to do and I knew what to do. We kind of stayed away from the water,” said Sarah Redfield.
The park board said there hasn’t been a beach closure due to illness in the city lakes in at least 25 years. If you do experience symptoms, you should call your doctor or the health department. The board is also asking anyone who has visited Lake Nokomis to complete a brief survey.
Weekly beach testing results are available on the park board’s Water Resources page.