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Physical distancing fail: Pike Lake packed with people over weekend

A Reddit user says she took this photo of Pike Lake beach on Saturday, July 4. candyfoo322/Reddit

Pike Lake was packed this weekend, with dozens of people crammed onto the provincial park’s beach — a major physical distancing don’t.

“It would be very difficult, with the volume of people down here, to keep distanced on the beach,” said Glenn Thomson, past president of the Pike Lake Cottage and Watershed Association.

Saturday was the busiest day of the summer, he said, with some people waiting up to 45 minutes to get into the park, about 35 kilometres southwest of Saskatoon.

Read more: Coronavirus: Summer shaping up to be busy at Saskatchewan provincial parks

The parking lot was overflowing while the picnic area and lake itself were also crowded, Thomson added.

Provincial parks have educational signage in place about COVID-19 safety guidelines, but Thomson said it’s up to visitors to use common sense.

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“It doesn’t matter where you go, some people are paying attention and social distancing and other places are just not,” he said.

“Unless people really make an attempt to kind of follow the… suggested rules, that’s about the only way it’s going to work.”

Dan French, executive director of parks operations, said it’s difficult to identify expanded household bubbles, but park rangers and interpreters are reminding people to keep their distance.

Read more: More campsites open at Saskatchewan provincial parks

“Our main goal is just to educate our clients to be compliant on all our rules,” French told Global News.

“We know parks are a very popular place, however, considering we’re still in a state of emergency and we’re still under a worldwide pandemic, everybody needs to just work on this together.”

There hasn’t been any consideration to limit the number of people allowed in provincial parks, he said.

“We’re certainly happy to open our doors and to have the citizens of Saskatchewan enjoy our public spaces,” he said.

He said the parks are clean, with enhanced sanitization practices in place for shared spaces, like washrooms and visitor centres.

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