Gary beaches close for at least two weeks due to rising COVID-19 concerns, mayor says

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Gary beaches temporarily close due to COVID-19 concerns, mayor says
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Effective Wednesday, Gary's beaches and parking lots will be closed to the public.

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- Police will be on patrol along Gary's Lake Michigan shoreline starting Wednesday to enforce the temporary Beach Closure order which is set to last at least two weeks.

The closure comes as Gary health officials say they've continued to see daily double-digit increases in new COVID-19 cases. The city reported 13 new cases Tuesday.

Earlier this week, a statewide face mask order went into effect to help curb the rising number cases.

"I think Indiana was very late in the game to applying the mask rules and if they had done so maybe we wouldn't be where we are today," Chicago resident, Dr. Amy Yuksel said.

The city also announced the temporary closure of Marquette Park, another area that has been popular for summer gatherings for both Gary residents and Chicagoans.

Mayor Jerome Prince said in a statement Gary police will be patrolling the area to make sure people are complying with the temporary order.

RELATED: Indiana COVID-19: IN reports 809 new cases, 16; Fauci concerned about another outbreak

Gary has closed its beaches, Marquette Park and their parking lots to prevent crowds and, thus, the spread of COVID-19.

"If it's for public health, then I'm all for it," said Kay Burgess, a Gary resident. "We're dealing with a crisis right now and whatever we can do as far as getting-squashing that curve, crunching it then I think it's for the best of the community."

The crowd at the beach on Tuesday was a good mix of Chicagoans and Indiana residents.

Some Chicagoans at the beach said the city's travel order coupled with the closed lakefront left shrinking options for ways to enjoy what is left of summer.

"Given that people are not fully engaged in air travel yet and states like Wisconsin are now added to the quarantine list, it makes Indiana sort of a prime place for a day trip from the city so it's disappointing to not have that," Yuksel said.

On Good Morning America, DR. Anthony Fauci voiced his concerns over rising COVID-19 cases in Midwest states, including Indiana.

"The Ohios, the Indianas, the Tennessees, the Kentuckys that are starting to have that very early indication...that the percent is starting to go up, that's a surefire sign that you got to be careful," Fauci said.