ALTOONA Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Lake Altoona beach is shut down due to health concerns. It’s been closed now for 41 days as of today, which is more than half the summer.

The reason: algae blooms that carry toxins which could cause rashes or even greater illness when ingested or inhaled. While swimming from the beach is strictly prohibited, getting your boat on the water is allowed.

The chair of the Lake Altoona board says in addition to the health impacts, the beach closures have brought on economic ones as well. 

“People who are buying gasoline, filling up their coolers with food and drink, they’re not bringing their dollars here. I know parks and forest department are talking about layoffs, they don’t need people here if the beach is closed.”

It’s unclear when the beach will re-open. Health experts say it’s important to remember to wash your hands before you eat and to shower when you get home. Also keep a close eye on small children and pets.