To clear up any misunderstanding, the City of Michigan City did advertise on February 6th, for all seasonal positions, including lifeguards. The City received only one application from a returning lifeguard from last year, and no others with required qualifications.

Lifeguarding has always been a high-risk job. But amid the coronavirus pandemic, those who work to protect beachgoers are facing a new level of danger.    

From stubbed toes to cardiac arrests, open water lifeguards are trained to act as first responders for all manner of medical emergencies that can happen at the beach, often putting them in very close proximity to beach goers. When it comes to making water rescues, lifeguards must come in direct physical contact with people who might be spitting up water or gasping for air. This aspect of their job raises new concerns due to the ways that the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads.

According to Kathy Workman the Director at the YMCA in Michigan City, states that she has tested dozens of people for certification, and unfortunately, none passed the prerequisite.

Additionally, at this time the American Red Cross is not allowing the “hands on” portion of the testing due to COVID-19, so this put hiring at a standstill.

With all of this information and the fact that the citizens want and desire the beachfront to be opened, we must make the tough decision to swim at your own risk when visiting our beachfront.