'COVID-19 has not gone away:' More overcrowding on Grand Bend beaches
Published Sunday, July 5, 2020 7:28PM EDT
GRAND BEND -- After a number of overcrowding incidents on shorelines of Ontario, Grand Bend once again saw a number of people gather on their beaches Sunday.
“We were at capacity Saturday and today will likely be the same,” said Lambton Shores Mayor Bill Weber.
Bylaw officers and municipal staff were out trying to control a crowd of thousands, as one London resident says the numbers on the beach looked similar to the Canada Day turnout.
“COVID-19 has not gone away,” said Weber. “COVID-19 is still here and it can come back and bite us.
“We’ll keep the beaches open as long as people follow the rules.”
The mayor added that people are trying to physically distance, but doesn’t know if that will be enough.
Weber has called the past weekend a test to see how well visitors are following the rules.
“Everyone’s keeping their distance the best they can,” said Kitchener resident Jack Ross. “I mean, it can get a little tight when you’re walking to the water.”
Lexie Levac and Sierha Luxton Dayeh, both Kitchener residents, said people are trying to stay in their groups and are doing pretty well.
“They’re trying, but it’s not really the best,” said Kitchener resident Rami Dayeh.
Weber added that they won’t hesitate to close the beach if necessary, but that doing so would be extremely difficult for the business community.
Alex Figlarski, whose business is close to the shoreline, said there has been more people walking by than usual.
“The beach is always the number one attraction,” said Armand Malette, owner of Hobo Pies. “Serving on average every day, even weekdays, is probably 5,000 people.”
Weber said he is talking with council to see how they can better manage crowds.