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Parents express concern after Schulze Lake closure, potential viral outbreak

Parents concenterd after potential viral outbreak closes Eagan beach
Parents concenterd after potential viral outbreak closes Eagan beach 02:15

EAGAN, Minn. -- The announcement of a potential waterborne viral outbreak and closure of a popular swimming hole in Dakota County has parents seeking answers.

On Wednesday, 3-year-old Remi was splashing away at Schulze Lake Beach in Eagan.

"It was our first beach day of the year, so she was in a good mood," Mikayla Evans, Remi's mom, said.

But by Thursday night, Evans says her daughter was not herself.

"She was very, very sick. She was vomiting. She was very lethargic. Her face was dull and she looked not there behind her eyes," Evans said.

As of Saturday, Remi is on the mend, but she's not alone.

Others got sick after swimming at the lake last week, prompting Dakota County to close the beach Friday evening, calling it a "potential waterborne viral outbreak."

"It's just the vagueness of it that's most alarming because you don't know the level of concern you are supposed to have," said Renae Rentz, of Richfield.

Renae's daughter was in the water just two hours before the beach closed.

"She feels fine right now, but it hasn't even been 24 hours," Rentz said.

Dakota County says they still don't know what is causing people to get sick. They're working with the Minnesota Department of Health to test the water.

"Obviously, as a parent, I would like for them to do some sort of testing," Evans said. "I would like to know whether it is viral, what it was, how long it lasts, and if it could come back."

Anyone who was exposed to the lake water and then got sick is encouraged to report it to the Minnesota Department of Health. They are also offering testing to a limited number of people who report symptoms.

The beach will be closed until at least June 8 as they investigate.

"I hope that it opens soon," Evans said. "We love coming here. We won't stop coming here."

Parents should look out for symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea.

The closure includes water activities like canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding and fishing.

The rest of Lebanon Hills Regional Park remains open.

To report a suspected waterborne illness, call the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-5655.

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