Grand Bend trying to balance safety, economy at beach

Grand Bend Beach in Lambton Shores. July 4, 2020. (Screenshot from the Grand Bend Beach cam)

The mayor of Lambton Shores is striking a cautiously optimistic tone as people flock to Grand Bend Beach during the hot summer weather.

Bill Weber said they had capacity crowds again this past weekend in the Lake Huron resort community.

In a video message via Twitter Monday, Weber reminded visitors that COVID-19 is not gone and physical distancing is crucial.

“We’ve had lots of people at the beach, I’ve had lots of comments that there’s too many people and they’re too close, lots of comments that say things are looking good,” said Weber. “So we’re trying to balance that, we’re trying to educate the people that are coming here. We need our visitors and we want to keep our shops open but we want to keep our community safe.”

The popular Grand Bend Beach reopened June 22 and there were over 250 tickets issued for parking, liquor and other infractions during the first weekend it was open.

Weber has promised ramped-up enforcement to ensure people follow the rules.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Friday that the province is not going to be closing any Ontario provincial beaches right now.

Lambton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade said he’d be guided by the evidence when it comes to whether or not we close down beaches.

“If we started to see the spread of cases and some of the exposures were “Oh, I went to the beach and it was really crowded,” I mean, we would consider that,” said Dr. Ranade. “But I think at this time, certainly, people have been probably going to the beach for weeks and weeks at this point, and we haven’t had any cases as a result of that kind of exposure. So all of these things are ongoing discussions but I think they need to be grounded in the evidence that we have.”