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Ingham Co. Commissioners vote to reopen beaches

Posted at 5:51 AM, Jun 24, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Tuesday night the Ingham County Commissioners voted 8 to 6 to reopen county beaches by July 4th.

Commissioner Emily Stivers of District 11, who was in favor of them reopening says safety was one aspect that made the board's decision difficult.

"Although there are normally lifeguards at our county parks we decided to open without them because we couldn't get the lifeguards trained properly in good time," said Stivers.

Other factors like the ability to social distance was also on the commissioners' minds.

"I feel welcoming people to open spaces is better. People are going to gather somewhere okay. Do we want them to gather in tight spaces or open spaces and I think opening our spaces is the right thing to do," added Stivers.

Stivers says the county will prepare the beaches for visitors by testing the water, putting up proper signage, and giving additional training to park rangers and more.

While a number of precautions are being taken to help keep people safe at the beaches commissioner Derrell Slaughter is also warning the public to just be smart in general.

"When they go into the water please, please, please make sure that you know how to swim or have like an adult or somebody that can keep an eye on you, but you know I don't fault anybody for voting for it but we will see how this plays out," said Slaughter.

The Ingham County swim at your own risk resolution is set to be completed by July 4th and last until September 7th.

Stivers says if there is a Covid-19 outbreak, they will shut the beaches down if it's recommended by local health leaders.

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