Will Eagle Island swim area get clean enough to reopen?

EAGLE, Idaho (KBOI) -- After a norovirus outbreak in Eagle Island State Park's swimming area, many are asking if crews can get the area cleaned up enough to reopen. KBOI talked to the Idaho State Parks and Recreation Director, Nancy Merrill, who assures park-goers that crews are doing everything they can to make sure the area is safe.

Cleanup personnel are not only working to drain the swimming area, and re-fill it, but Merrill said they've also wiped down every surface in the entire park. That includes hand railings, picnic tables, benches, and the playground.

The DEQ suggested taking a couple of days or a week to get everything clean, but Merrill said she wants to take two weeks, just in case.

"I always like to air on the side of safety, particularly when it comes to public health and safety out there," Merrill said. "That norovirus is a nasty bug (and) without people coming in like that, (there will be) a less chance we'll infect others down the road."

Once the water is drained, crews will re-fill it with clean water. Merrill also said employees will take the top layer of sand off the beach, to make sure the virus isn't lurking in other places besides the water.

Once everything is done, Merrill said crews will test the water every three to five days to make sure there are no issues. The swimming area should be open in about two weeks, depending on the results of those tests. And once it is back up and running, Merrill reminds park-goers to make sure to stay home if you're sick, and make sure kids use the restrooms.

"We can't tell if they're sick or not sick, so we look for the responsibility of the public," Merrill said.

As a reminder, the rest of Eagle Island State Park is open while the swimming area is closed.