Researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School, in Duluth have found the virus that causes COVID-19 at four beaches in Duluth. Tests were conducted on  September 11 and September 18 a "detectable" level of the virus was found at the following beaches: 13th Street Beach/Franklin Park on Park Point, Leif Erikson Park, 42nd Avenue Beach and Brighton Beach.

Although the findings may seem disturbing, Dr. Richard Melvin, who is leading the study, says people don't need to worry, as  the virus likely would not survive in lake water. Dr. Melvin went on to say to WDIO:

People don't need to fear the water, or fear fish that they take out of the water. What it really speaks to is a presence of the SARS virus in the community, and when you have a large community of people, they often affect the environment around them.

Dr. Melvin said at this time they do not know the source of the virus but the activity level in Duluth is very high and the virus is present in Duluth so it is hard to predict any possible source other than people being in those areas. The CDC is not aware of any scientific reports that indicate the virus can spread to people through exposure to lake water.

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According to WDIO " in July, the University of Minnesota Medical School partnered with Minnesota Sea Grant to test the surface water at eight beaches in Duluth for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19."

Researchers and health professionals encourage everyone to continue to practice social distancing and wear mask to reduce the spread of the virus. Thankfully the weather has turned where it is getting colder, so the beaches are not as crowded as in the Summer.

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