‘Potential waterborne viral outbreak’ forces temporary closure of Schulze Lake in Eagan
Schulze Lake, in Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan, is an idyllic place, quiet and peaceful.
But now — the lake, popular for swimming and other water sports, is off-limits until at least June 8.
“I’m glad they told us; we don’t want to get sick,” said Elliana Thompson, visiting from Mahtomedi. “We read the sign and saw that there was an illness and went to go to a different beach.”
The water and the beach are cordoned off, with a Sheriff’s squad nearby — because of a ‘potential waterborne viral outbreak.’
A Dakota County spokesperson says the Parks Department closed the lake after a visitor reported getting sick Friday afternoon.
The county says right now, it’s unknown what might be causing people to get ill.
The Minnesota Department of Health is offering testing to a limited number of people exposed to the lake water who are experiencing symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea.
“A little frustrating because we’re just trying to cool off,” says Zack Brandner from South St. Paul. “Especially for not having AC in the car.”
Brandner says the timing — on a warm June day — isn’t ideal.
But he agrees it’s a good idea to take precautions until authorities can determine what’s causing the outbreak in the popular swimming spot.
“You see viruses like (this),” Brandner says. “I’d say the preparations of closing them down, trying to figure out what it is, how they’re able to protect it.”
The temporary closure also means no canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding or fishing are allowed on the lake.
There are also no equipment rentals until June 8 at the earliest.
The lake ban also includes both people and pets — but the rest of Lebanon Hills Regional Park is still open.
But Grace Norris and Adrienne Miller, both from Eagan, turned their beach visit into a lawn visit, just feet away from the water that, before all this, was pretty tempting.
“Definitely stinks; it’s nice to be able to hop in and cool off,” Miller says. “We’re thinking about it, and we’re on Google Maps, and like there’s nothing super close, far away drive. Don’t really want to waste the nice days, so I figure we’d just stick it out.”
To report a suspected waterborne illness, call the health department at 651-201-5655 or contact them online.