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UPDATE: Bradford, McKinley and South Shore beaches have reopened, are 'swim at your own risk' this weekend

< UPDATE: 3:20 p.m.> These beaches are back open for the weekend, the Milwaukee County Parks department has tweeted, but they will be under a beach advisory for low water quality. It's unclear why the decision was reversed.

"The health department has changed the beach status to 'caution', which means swim at your own risk and do not ingest water," the parks department tweeted. "Plus, of course, wear a mask and stay six feet from others as much as possible."

The archived story, originally posted Friday morning, is below.

If you've driven past Bradford Beach this summer, you may have been surprised -- or, given the COVID-19 situation, alarmed -- by how big the crowds have been. But the coronavirus isn't the reason that the Milwaukee Health Department has closed Bradford and two other popular beaches this weekend.

Bradford Beach, McKinley Beach and South Shore Beach will be closed today through Sunday because of sewage contamination, according to Milwaukee County Parks. It appears that Wednesday's rain storms were responsible for the decreased water quality.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Resources, people who swim in sewage contaminated water could get seriously ill, with symptoms including "diarrhea or vomiting, skin rashes or respiratory illness."

On Twitter, TMJ4 reporter Ryan Jenkins notes that the posted signs warning that Bradford Beach is closed can be hard to spot. Some people are at the beach this morning, apparently unaware that it is closed.


There are still families and groups here at Bradford Beach swimming and hanging out. Many of the people I've talked to say they didn't notice the posted "beach closed" signs. Some say the warnings about unhealthy water conditions need to be more assertive.