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Shawnee, area splash pads and water parks open despite COVID-19

By Galen Hawes - ghawes@news-star.com
Shawnee Splash.

As temperatures heat up, area residents are invited to get out and have fun in the sun at one of the local splash pads or water parks.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the Shawnee Splash Water Park located at 101 E. Highland Street opened later than normal this year on June 12.

“Since reopening, we have reached our COVID- 19 regulated capacity level everyday by mid-day,” said Kerri Foster, Recreation Manager at the City of Shawnee Parks and Recreation Department. “We are still having online registration for our swim lessons.”

The water park staff has made temporary changes for the 2020 season to ensure safety for swimmers.

Season pass holders only are allowed in during the first hour of operation from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and General Admission is from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Season passes can be purchased online or in the park.

A safety break is taken every hour for 15 minutes, which allows staff to increase and ensure sanitation of high touch points. Patrons exit through the gate on the west side of the park for each safety break because exiting through the front is not permitted.

Personal lawn chairs are permitted. No swimming in the diving well area. Aquatic swimwear only is permitted meaning that basketball shorts, volleyball tops/bottoms, underwear etc. are not allowed. Staff will ask upon arrival to ensure patrons are abiding by dress code.

As part of COVID-19 guidelines at the Shawnee Splash Water Park, they ask anyone feeling sick to stay home. At the part, everyone is asked to  stay a minimum of six feet from other families and patrons in deck areas, and to use hand sanitizer after leaving the pool. Once home, everyone is encouraged to wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

“The Briscoe Boy Scout Park Splash Pad is also open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” said Foster. “Please check our Facebook page for more updates to operation in response to COVID-19 procedures.”

For more information about the Shawnee Splash Water Park visit www.shawneeok.org/government/departments/parks/shawnee_splash_1/.

The Tecumseh Splash Pad located at Slick Humphrey Park at 901 W. Walnut St. opened on June 15 instead of Memorial Day due to COVID-19 concerns. The Splash Pad is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Sunday.

“The Splash Pad is not sanitized and is use at your own risk. We decided to open due to community members wanting the Splash Pad open,” said Cathy Condit, City of Tecumseh employee. “The Splash Pad is busiest around 12 p.m.”

The McLoud Water Park opened around Memorial Day weekend.

“Since reopening, our business has been steady from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and we have taken precautions such as sanitizing the water park and cleaning the area daily,” said Nic Morales, McLoud Water Park manager.

The Seminole Municipal Park Splash Pad did not close due to COVID-19 guidelines but was closed for repairs and reopened on July 2.

 “The Splash pad is running normally and has been pretty busy this summer,” said Shelley Robertson, Public Works Assistant.

When visiting the Seminole Splash Pad, everyone is asked to take precautions, such as social distancing.