You are the owner of this article.

Parks and recreation department faces uncertain summer

  • 0

Some of the city of Hermiston’s summer recreation programs will go on and some are already canceled, but opening the city’s aquatic center remains in question.

The state has dictated that swimming pools, water parks, playgrounds and picnic shelters remain closed during Phase One of Oregon’s reopening. But Larry Fetter, Hermiston’s parks and recreation director, said the Hermiston Family Aquatic Center could open in some form later in the summer if Umatilla County meets the criteria to move on to higher phases.

“Local governments can impose higher standards (for reopening) but they can’t impose lower standards,” Fetter said.

He said the department has made conditional job offers to lifeguards and swim instructors, with the understanding that the aquatic center may not open at all this summer. It is unclear so far at what phase public swimming pools would be allowed to open, and Fetter said if it comes too late in the summer it might be a struggle to staff the pool after some lifeguards have moved on to other job opportunities.

He said they are making the necessary preparations to open if they are able, however, and will adjust to the social distancing guidelines the state places on them.

“What that looks like is anyone’s guess,” Fetter said.

The splash pad at Butte Park, which is a combination of playground and water park, will also remain closed for now.

Hermiston’s parks remain open in general, however, along with its trails and disc golf course.

On the recreation side, Fetter said summer day camps fall under the child care category and will therefore be allowed to continue. Phase One also allows for gatherings of up to 25 people if they stay 6 feet apart as much as possible, which will allow some of the department’s other summer programs to continue. The lunch program that offers free meals for children at parks will also go on as usual.

On the other hand, Fetter said, restrictions on larger gatherings mean the cancelation of summer festivals, such as Spudfest and Melonfest on the city’s festival street.

The city still plans to have its annual fireworks show on the Fourth of July. Fetter said they will forgo the live entertainment and booths set up in the park during the day, but people will still be able to enjoy the fireworks that night from their cars, homes or at a safe distance apart from each other in the park.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Coronavirus Sections

Get breaking news!

Coronavirus FAQ

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Can I get COVID-19 from my pets or other animals?

There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.

Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands and maintaining good hygiene.

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.

What about imported animals or animal products?

CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States.

What precautions should be taken for animals that have recently been imported from outside the United States?

At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets and service animals, can spread COVID-19. As with any animal introduced to a new environment, animals recently imported should be observed daily for signs of illness. If an animal becomes ill, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Call your local veterinary clinic before bringing the animal into the clinic and let them know that the animal was recently imported from another country.