BONNEY LAKE, Wash. - Staying healthy and hydrated was critical for communities across Washington during a heat advisory that was scheduled to last through Monday evening.
One of the communities included in the heat advisory was Bonney Lake, where several people went to Allen Yorke Park along Lake Tapps to cool off.
“I love this. Just being out here in great weather,” said Brandon Cargill, who was visiting the beach with his family.
“It’s so exciting to be out of the house, able to come out and enjoy the water,” said Terry Pague while visiting the beach with a friend.
Temperatures reached above 90 degrees in Bonney Lake on Monday. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department advised people to limit time in direct sunlight to help prevent health issues like heat exhaustion or sunburn.
“Once we get in the water, get out, recoat to avoid the burn,” said Pague.
“Staying hydrated and if we get too hot just go to the shade,” said Cargill.
Some beachgoers were also mindful of COVID-19. New rules at Allen Yorke Park this summer include a 250-person limit to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Pierce County security guards said maximum capacity was reached by lunchtime and visitors waited in line until space was available.
Security guards also checked to make sure everyone wore a mask before entering. Circles were spray painted on the ground at the park where visitors could sit and keep their distance from others.
“This has become the new normal for us. So, something that we have to address and become accustomed to,” said Pague.
Though the sun was hot all day Monday, the East Pierce Fire and Rescue unit said the temperature in Lake Tapps was not. Fire fighters said glacial runoff from Mount Rainier makes the water deceptively cold, which could cause hypothermia and lead to drownings.
The department, in partnership with other organizations, has loaner life jackets available on site to help save a life.
“Life jacket for sure because you just don’t know. You don’t know if you’re going to get a leg cramp or what the case may be,” said Pague.
“Our friend actually had a water incident a few days ago. So, it’s scary because you never see. It can happen in a second,” said Anna Chikerenda while visiting the park with her younger siblings.
The health department said though wearing a mask is crucial in public places to reduce the spread, it can also contribute to overheating. Those who needed a “mask break” while outdoors were encouraged to find a shaded area six feet from other people and take the mask off to cool down.
As people continue to navigate life during the pandemic, they find some sense of normalcy under the sun.
“Get a tan! I’ve been home too long!” said Chikerenda.