It's their weekly Friday trip to the Sand Bar State Park in Milton for the Martin family. But there was no swimming to cool off this week.
"We're disappointed, but a day at the beach is still a day at the beach," Jeremy Martin said.
Access to the water at the state park has been prohibited since Tuesday after nearly two dozen people reported stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea after swimming in the water. The reports started pouring in after the Fourth of July. Marie Agan's 3-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter both became violently ill this week.
"She really got sick. She was like a zombie. She vomited excessively, she had explosive diarrhea, including incontinence; she couldn't even hold it," Agan said.
"We've not had this happen before," said Frank Spaulding of the Vermont State Parks.
Why the people got sick remains a mystery. Tests for E. coli and the Norovirus-- a stomach bug that typically lasts for 1-2 days-- both came back negative Friday. That means the water is reopened to swimming. In the meantime, the park will take more samples at different parts of the beach and beef up cleaning efforts on shore.
"In the meantime we went through and disinfected all of the surfaces in the park with a disaffection solution as recommended by the health department; the toilet rooms, the play structures, the water taps in the park," Spaulding said.
Agan says her family is looking forward to anchoring their boat at the Sand Bar soon.
"We'll go back, we are pretty steady Sand Bar goers," Agan said.
As for the Martin family, they made the best of the empty beach.
"It kind of gives us a little more room to throw the football around and do our thing," Jeremy Martin said.
No further water testing is planned, so we will likely never know how the two dozen people got sick. But park officials say everyone has recovered.
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