Minneapolis park leader explains decision to close beaches for the summer

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone’s way of living in Minnesota and beyond.

The outbreak of the virus, which spreads easily among big crowds, has resulted in the state and local leaders putting restrictions in place to prevent public gathering and large events for at least the coming weeks.

This week, however, the Minneapolis park board went a step further by saying all outdoor aquatic facilities, including beaches, pools, and waterparks, would remain closed for the entire summer. The changes come after updated orders from Governor Tim Walz and the Department of Health.

Those with the parks department say they realize it's an inconvenience, but their focus is on safety.

"Our decision was really based on data and science and facts that we were tracking," said board superintendent Al Bangoura. "We realized that, obviously, that would be a concern through the summer and to our programming, and so we made a decision because of the level of congregation within our beaches and pools, that we would close it for the summer."

Bangoura also mentioned, based on graphs provided by Governor Walz and the Department of Health, the curve of COVID-19 could continue into July.