Swimming not recommended at most Windsor-Essex beaches as heat alert continues

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Sandpoint Beach in Windsor is shown in a file photo. The beach is one of three where swimming is currently reccomended. (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC - image credit)
Sandpoint Beach in Windsor is shown in a file photo. The beach is one of three where swimming is currently reccomended. (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC - image credit)

High E. coli counts mean those looking to beat the heat at the beach may want to choose carefully.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says six beaches — Belle River Beach, Colchester Beach, Holiday Beach, Mettawas Beach, Point Pelee North West Beach and Seacliff Beach — are not currently recommended for swimming due to the presence of the illness-causing bacteria.

The beaches are under a warning, meaning the waters are unsafe for swimming, but they remain open.

Cedar Beach, Cedar Island Beach and Sandpoint Beach had bacteria levels below the provincial standard.

The testing reflects conditions on Monday for all beaches except Point Pelee North West Beach, which was most recently tested on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the city of Windsor's outdoor pools opened earlier this week, and 10 splash pads are open.

Windsor-Essex remains under a heat warning on Canada Day, with temperatures expected to reach a high of 31 C.

Humidex values will make it feel like the mid-30s, according to Environment Canada. The agency says the "heat event" is expected to end Friday night, but sunshine and highs of 29 C and 28 C are in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

According to the health unit, certain types of bacteria found in water like E. coli can cause illnesses including vomiting and diarrhea, infections of the eye, ear, nose or throat, as well as skin issues.

"Swallowing contaminated water is the main way you may get sick. Bacteria can also enter the body through the ears, eyes, nose, or through broken skin," the WECHU website states.

The health unit also recommends not swimming in cloudy water or for at least two days after a heavy rainfall.

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