NORFOLK--The Health Department issued a swimming advisory Tuesday in the East Beach area of the city between Baypoint Avenue and 24th Bay Street.

According to a release, water sampling and testing conducted revealed enterococci bacteria levels that exceed state water quality standards.

Signs have been posted to alert the public.

Health officials say they will continue testing the beach water and will remove the signs and notify the public when the bacteria levels decrease and meet state standards. .

The Health Department samples Ocean View beach water on a weekly basis during the swimming season, from mid-May through mid-October.

Enterococci bacteria are a group of indicator organisms used to determine the extent of fecal contamination in recreational waters.

According to the release, while enterococci bacteria do not cause illness, scientific studies indicate that their presence is closely correlated to the presence of other disease-causing organisms.

People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the state standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness.

For additional information on the East Beach swimming advisory, residents are asked to call the Norfolk Department of Public Health Environmental Division at 757-683-2812.

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