Beach in northwest Indiana closes due to public safety concerns amid coronavirus pandemic

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WHITING, Ind. – A beach in northwest Indiana will close Wednesday over public safety concerns related to COVID-19.

Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura said the closure for Whihala Beach will begin Wednesday and stay in effect until further notice. Whiting Lakefront Park will close to vehicle traffic as well, but all bike and walking trails will be available for use.

Stahura cited public safety concerns for the move. Unusually large crowds far exceeding normal summer attendance have made it difficult for visitors to comply with social distancing measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The beach area has also been reduced due to high water levels on Lake Michigan.

Stahura said the city took the action out of an “abundance of caution” after witnessing an “alarming disregard” for COVID-19 protocols.

“We no longer feel confident that we can provide a reasonably safe ‘health’ environment for our patrons,” Stahura said in a statement.

The mayor said he regretted having to take the action but believed it was in the best interests of the community.

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