The city of Litchfield Park began the process of reopening Monday, June 1, with City Hall and the Litchfield Park Recreation Center and pool open for business.
“Our reopening is going good so far,” City Manager Bill Stephens said Monday evening. “The mood seems upbeat. Some are happy to be back and see fellow staff, and others are still cautious and a little worried.”
The city closed its buildings in mid-March to stem the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Under phase 1 reopening guidance, social distancing measures are in place, groups are limited to 10 or fewer and those considered vulnerable are encouraged to work from home if possible.
“We do have a few staff members that would qualify for the ‘vulnerable category’ and therefore they’re more cautious,” Mr. Stephens said. “So, where it makes sense and staff would like to continue to work from home, I’m allowing it. I have a couple of staff members in that category.”
City Council, planning and other public meetings will continue to be held virtually until further notice, Assistant City Manager Matthew Williams said Tuesday. The public can join meetings via Zoom or telephone, and they can watch on the city’s YouTube channel.
The city’s recreation center and pool, 100 S. Old Litchfield Road, were up and running Monday, with the 25-yard heated pool ready for swimmers. Regular rec center hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., but staff announced that the facility will close at 7 p.m. while Gov. Doug Ducey’s 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. curfew is in place. The curfew was implemented Sunday in response to weekend violence in Phoenix and Scottsdale as people protested the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died May 25 in police custody. The curfew is scheduled to end at 5 a.m. Monday, June 8.
In a video on the rec center’s Facebook page, staff detailed safety measures in place, including protective screens where necessary, proper handwashing and disinfecting of surfaces.Staff will wear masks and gloves, though masks will not be allowed in the pool itself. Pool capacity is limited to 50 people, green Xs have been placed six feet apart underneath pool furniture to encourage social distancing and tables will be reserved for family use only.
Employees and patrons are asked to stay home if they are experiencing cough, shortness of breath, chills and shaking, sore throat, muscle pain, headache, loss of taste and smell.
For city updates, visit the city’s website at litchfield-park.org or its Facebook page, @CityofLitchfieldPark. For updates on the recreation center and its activities, visit its Facebook page, @LitchfieldParkRecCenter.