For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began last year, Chicago beaches are open for swimming, but a swim advisory has been issued at a pair of beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan.
According to the latest information available from the Chicago Park District, a swim advisory has been issued at Ohio Street Beach, located at 600 North Lake Shore Drive, and at the Margaret T. Burroughs Beach, located at 3100 South Lake Shore Drive.
According to park district officials, the advisory at Ohio Street Beach was issued at 12:07 p.m. Sunday due to water quality concerns. Water quality testing at the beach revealed elevated levels of Enterococci, an indicator of potential pathogens that could cause illness in swimmers.
The current Enterococci level is at 1,022. Levels below 1,000 are considered safe, according to the park district website.
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At Margaret T. Burroughs beach, weather and surf conditions led to a swim advisory. Typically wind and wave conditions lead to these advisories, according to officials.
Swim advisories at Chicago beaches mean that swimming is still allowed, but residents and beachgoers are encouraged to exercise caution. A red flag indicates a “swim ban,” and no one is allowed in the water in those instances.
Chicago beaches opened this month for swimming for the first time since the COVID pandemic began last year. According to the park district website, all beaches except for the aforementioned locations are still open for swimming Sunday.