On Friday afternoon, July 12, the health department issued a notice recommending the closure of Barrington Beach and Oakland Beach in Warwick. The two beaches remained closed to swimmers until late Tuesday afternoon, July 16, when tests confirmed the reduced levels of bacteria in the water.
Dara Chadwick, a spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Department of Health, said regulations require officials to have two tests 24 hours apart showing acceptable bacteria levels. She said officials tested the water at Barrington Beach on Monday morning. Those tests showed reduced bacteria. Officials tested again on Tuesday and saw similar results.
Some swimmers ignored the recommended closure and took to the water over the weekend, likely pushed by the 90-degree temperatures. The region is now entering its fourth straight day of 90-degree temperatures. Forecasters say the heat wave will likely break on Saturday night into Sunday morning.