Despite the resumption of summer camps. Redus said all Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation camps are cancelled over COVID-19 concerns. Redus did say she would be resuming other activities but summer camps wouldn't be one of them.
As day camps and youth sports begin to resume in Arkansas, Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Trudy Redus said, they will be taking a cautious approach.
The Arkansas Department of Health gave permission for summer day camps to resume in May as long as they followed the proactive measures to protect the health of attendees and staff. Overnight camps were also permitted with stricter guidelines.
Despite the resumption of summer camps. Redus said all Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation camps are cancelled over COVID-19 concerns. Redus did say she would be resuming other activities but summer camps wouldn’t be one of them.
“I am going to reopen the Tennis Center on Monday, July 6,” said Redus. “Also we are going to do a program for children, called GG, in honor of Kobe Bryant’s Daughter, for girls in golf.”
As Redus finalizes the details she said there will be limited capacity on the courts.
Redus said her focus is to bring back activities that limit contact with one another and even though softball and baseball were approved to resume, Redus states she is unsure if that will happen in Pine Bluff.
“Right now I just don’t know if it’s going to materialize,” said Redus. “Normally we have the baseball league and the t-ball program and then we do basketball camps but I don’t think we are going to be able to do any of that with the coronavirus.”
Jefferson County currently has 97 active cases out of 633 with 508 recoveries.
The ADH directive states limited contact team sports such as baseball, softball, golf, tennis, swimming and gymnastics are permitted.
Player group size must be sufficiently limited to maintain 6 feet between each person whenever possible.
When conditioning or weight training, proper spacing of 12 feet must be adhered to unless you are a spotter.
ADH asks that all participants provide their own equipment. If shared equipment is used, disinfection is required frequently between each use.
General requirements include temperature checks, face coverings when not actively participating in an outdoor sport and face coverings for coaches and staff must be worn at all times for indoor sports and encouraged for outdoor.
“A lot of out parents want us to do activities that are outdoors so that is what we are looking at,” said Redus.
According to the CDC it is not yet known whether weather and temperature affect the spread of COVID-19 but says the coronaviruses survives for shorter periods at higher temperatures and higher humidity than in cooler or dryer environments.
The Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School said on Tuesday that when outdoors, air currents are more likely to scatter and dilute the virus, making transmission less likely than in a home, office, or other confined space with limited air circulation, but even outdoors, it’s important to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet and wear a mask, to reduce risk even further.
The Pine Bluff Aquatic Center reopened on June 1 during Phase I on a “first come, first serve” basis reaching maximum capacity just about every day.
Temperatures are taken and masks are required for entry.
Swim teams have resumed practice also at the Pine Bluff Aquatic Center. The Pine Bluff Sharks swim team were happy to be back as they are registering applicants to be a part of the team.
“The aquatic center is also doing a program working with community kids,” said Redus. “I believe it’s about 60 kids in that program.”
The STAR Afterschool Program offers free swim lessons for children in the 6th-8th grade.
“Basically we are doing sports where we can do social distancing,” said Redus. “All the other things that we normally do, we can’t.”