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Park department hopes beach closings will be temporary this summer

Brad Williams

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La Crosse’s beaches will be closed for a while, and the swimming pools definitely are shut down for the season. 

That’s the call from the city parks department, after a new spike in local COVID-19 cases which was traced partly to Pettibone Beach. 

Park director Jay Odegaard says they counted around 500 people recently at Pettibone. 

He’s hoping that both Pettibone and Black River beaches can be opened again before long.   

As for the city swimming pools, Odegaard says there are just too many restrictions on letting people swim to make it worth the time and money to have those locations open this summer.  

Odegaard says it didn’t help that the beaches don’t have lifeguards to try and enforce social distancing. 

But the absence of lifeguards was a personnel decision made well before this year’s pandemic, because those jobs are considered hard to fill.

 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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