WINDSOR, ONT. -- All beaches in the region are open after the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit indicated new tests deemed them safe for swimming Friday.

Tests done earlier in the week had indicated high levels of bacteria, prompting officials to close West Belle River Beach, Mettawas Beach in Kingsville and Sandpoint Beach in Windsor.

WECHU tweeted an update on Friday afternoon, saying the results from more testing came back and closing the beaches was no longer necessary.

Lakeshore Mayor Tom Bain says the levels seen earlier in the week were surprising.

“I think those counts that we’ve received were one of the highest we’ve ever had on the beach here,” he says.

Bain tells CTV News he would have been disappointed if the beach remained closed through the weekend noting West Beach has become a popular summer destination.

“It’s just packed with people who are out and they’re in the water and they’re enjoying it,” he says.

The health unit says the bacterial counts reflect the conditions at the time of sampling, which is done every Monday. Weather conditions and lake levels can change the conditions.

“What we’re looking at is lower than 200 is the magic number but anything above 200 would be posted as precautionary,” says health unit CEO Theresa Marentette.

 

WECHU did not test area beaches in 2020 due to increased pandemic response needs.