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Recreation message to Newport citizens and visitors…

Newport City Hall

A message from Newport City Hall

Dear Parks & Recreation Patrons:

It has been quite some time since an update was provided and we apologize for that. Not much has changed since the last update, but we are hoping things will be changing for the good very soon!

As most know, Lincoln County was removed from the Governor’s Watch List on July 30th. The County applied for and was tentatively approved to enter Phase 2 on September 8th. Unfortunately, September 8th is no longer a viable date and the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners voted to delay the County’s application to enter Phase 2 until September 29th.

During the most recent Newport City Council Meeting, Council re-evaluated and approved several changes to the City’s reopening plan. One of those changes moved the Recreation Center to a proposed Phase 2 Reopening. That now places the Recreation Center and Aquatic Center in a Phase 2 reopening – IF the state approves.

To be transparent, the Recreation Center and Aquatic Center will not be able to open their doors or provide an opening date immediately upon approval of a Phase 2 reopening. When COVID-19 took a foothold in our community and our facility doors were closed to the public, the Recreation Division’s staff levels were reduced from forty positions to six current positions. Due to the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the community and the City’s budget, the department made deep cuts to its budget and only nineteen of the forty positions will be refilled, operating hours will be reduced, and some programs will not be able to return immediately.

Even with the major reductions, staff has been working tirelessly to make the appropriate procedural changes and building modifications to welcome our patrons and staff back. Staff has tirelessly reviewed through reopening guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Oregon Health Authority to ensure our facilities are safe and meeting the standards that our state and federal governments have provided.

To better prepare our customers, below are some of the major changes that will be seen upon returning to our facilities when they open:

Before You Arrive

* Patrons need to make sure they are not running a fever at or above 100.4 and/or have any new onset flu-like symptoms.
* Bring a mask. Patrons entering our facilities are required to wear a mask at all times for ages five and older.
* Bring only essential items with you (keys, phone, water bottle, swim goggles, swim towels, etc). No extra personal equipment will be allowed at this time (specialty workout equipment, etc).
* We are promoting a “workout and leave” environment. Patrons will only be able to workout at or under 75 minutes.
* Patrons will be required to keep their belongings on them in a small pouch/bag. Large bags/items can no longer be stored in the facility until Management decides otherwise.

When You Arrive

* Expect Delays!
* Front desk staff will greet patrons, check temperatures, ask COVID-19 symptom questions, and make sure only essential items are being brought into the facilities.
* Patrons will manually check-in with the front desk staff behind the sneeze guards.
* There will be a maximum number of patrons allowed in each area of our facilities based on Oregon Health Authority guidelines.
* Entry and exits will be through the front entrance only.

General Facility Changes

* Restrooms are open, but locker room showers and changing area use is suspended.
* Patrons will have to arrive and depart in their exercise clothes until management decides otherwise.
* Lockers for daily use is suspended until management decides otherwise.
* Drinking fountains will be closed. Water bottle fill stations will remain open.

Aquatic Center

Maximum pool capacities as follows:
* Lap Pool – 8 swimmers max with 1 swimmer per lane for each workout time
* Activity Pool (deep water area) – 4 swimmers max for each time slot
* Lazy River – 5 swimmers max for each time slot
* Activity Pool (shallow water area) – 5 swimmers max for each time slot
* Baby Pool – 1 parent and child max for each time slot
* Spa – 1 household at a time

Childcare

* Childcare will reopen in a limited capacity.
* Parents will remain outside of the building to drop-off or pick-up their child.
* Children will be checked for a fever each day. Anyone with a fever greater than 100.4 degrees will not be allowed to attend.
* Only staff members will log in/out each child.
* Daily activities will support physical distancing.
* Non-essential visitors and volunteers are restricted.
* No field trips will occur until Management decides otherwise.
* Items from home are prohibited unless prearranged with staff.

Gyms, Game Courts, and Bleachers

* Sport courts will be closed to organized play, but will remain open for individual use.
* Large gym use will be open to the public. Small gym use will remain closed for Childcare.
* Bleachers will not be available for use.

Upstairs Workout Areas

* Strict physical distancing will be enforced.
* Some machines will be closed to allow for the recommended physical distancing between individuals.
* Patrons will be required to maintain physical distancing by using every other fitness equipment. No patrons should ever workout side-by-side.
* Exercisers will be required to keep their belongings on them in a small pouch/bag or in a cubby shelf if available.
* Patrons will be required to wipe down equipment and cubby shelves before and after every use.


Personal Training

* Personal training will remain closed until Management decides otherwise.

Group Fitness

* Group fitness programs will remain closed until Management decides otherwise.

60+ Activity Center

* The 60+ Activity Center will remain close until Phase 3.
* Check out their virtual Zoom programming that is currently being offered. For more details, visit their website by clicking here.

The health and safety of our community and staff is our top priority. We appreciate the public’s patience during these unusual times and we look forward to seeing everyone when our doors reopen!

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and Stay Active!

Newport Parks and Recreation

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