South Stormont beach closed as complaints mount over social distancing

Beach-goers huddle together in groups at Lakeview Park on County Road 2 in South Stormont, Ont. on Monday, June 23, 2020. The township is closing the beach and park today because it says it can't control social distancing. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

LAKEVIEW HEIGHTS – A popular beach in South Stormont is being closed today (Tuesday) as the township says it can’t control social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lakeview Park on County Road 2 at the foot of Avonmore Road, has seen throngs of beach-goers and the parking lot filled during the recent hot weather.

The township announced that the park and beach will be closed at 1:30 p.m. today (June 23) and will remain closed until further notice.

The closure was somewhat foreshadowed Monday as Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said during his daily media briefing that health unit staff were talking to municipalities – the people who run beaches – and the O.P.P.

“I think there has to be some sort of measure of restricted numbers. You can’t be capacity. I’m actually sending a memo to all municipalities. We’ve set up guidelines, we’ve got guidelines for all the beaches…I’ve heard the complaints, multiple complaints,” Roumeliotis said.

The doctor was also referring to complaints at the beaches in South Dundas. The complaints also surround Quebecers coming to the region to use the local beaches.

Roumeliotis says he doesn’t want a case of Florida on his hands – the state reopened beaches and quickly had a surge of 4,000 new coronavirus cases in one day.