A Barkhamsted beach recreation area will remain closed for swimming this summer over staffing concerns due to the pandemic.
The Metropolitan District announced that the Lake McDonough beach area needs seasonal lifeguards to oversee swimming. The uncertainty caused by the pandemic paused the process for recruiting, hiring, certification and training of lifeguards that normally would have taken place by this time of year, according to officials.
The MDC said the nature of the duties required for the position such as the administration of first aid potentially puts the health of staff and the general public at risk.
They also said that the lifeguard positions are generally filled by teenagers, which is "a population that only recently became eligible for vaccines."
The MDC said they will revisit opening Lake McDonough's beach area in 2022.
"While the MDC regrets any inconvenience, this action is necessary to ensure the safety and security of staff and recreation area guests," the MDC said in a statement.
Lake McDonough is a recreation area located off Route 219 in Barkhamsted that typically permits boating and swimming from Memorial Day through late August. However, the beach area was closed last year and will also remain closed this year.
The boat launch will remain open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.