State health officials: Norovirus may have sickened dozens at Dakota County lake

A yellow sign that says closed-1
Schulze Lake in Eagan, Minn., on Monday.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News

State health officials on Monday said there are indications that norovirus is responsible for sickening dozens of swimmers and closing a popular beach in Dakota County.

The beach at Schulze Lake, in Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan, was closed over the weekend and remained closed Monday.

In an update, the Minnesota Department of Health said it has received more than 60 reports in the past three days of people getting sick after swimming at Schulze Lake, with symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea.

“Health officials are still determining the exact pathogen causing the illnesses, but the symptoms and incubation period are consistent with norovirus infection,” the Health Department reported.

Norovirus symptoms also include nausea and stomach cramps, and typically begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus. Symptoms usually last a day or two.

The Health Department said the virus is transmitted through the stool or vomit of people who are infected.

A yellow sign that says closed-2
Schulze Lake in Eagan, Minn., on Monday.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News

“These types of germs can spread quickly and widely if people who are or have recently been ill swim in the same water with others,” Trisha Robinson, waterborne disease supervisor for the Health Department, said in a news release. “It’s critical that people stay out of any water until at least 72 hours after symptoms go away so we can stop the spread of the virus.”

Anyone who got sick after swimming at the lake can call the department’s Foodborne and Waterborne Illness Hotline at (651) 201-5655 or send an e-mail to

Schulze Lake remains temporarily closed to people and pets. The rest of Lebanon Hills Regional Park is open.