Harvey County parks will be fairly close to normal operations this weekend — Memorial Day weekend.
“We have to stress to the public the state regulation,” Harvey County Commissioner Chip Westfall said. “... Self police, or we will be forced to get in there and shut stuff down. Self police your [group] size and enjoy the parks this weekend.”
On Tuesday morning, group size was limited, by executive order of the governor, to 10. Hours after the commission meeting, the governor’s office stated the intention of moving that number to 15 on Friday. Social distancing, maintaining at least 6 feet between people who are not immediate family members, is also required.
“Unless we see an outbreak, I would expect us to go with [the governor’s] plan,” Commissioner Randy Hague said.
This week, parks administration and the Harvey County Commission approved moving forward with a reopening plan as the state moves through a multi-phase plan for reopening as Gov. Laura Kelly signs executive orders to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Parks staff will reopen the West Park bait shop with a limit on how many people can be inside the shop. Hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment will be available for staff.
Parks staff will open all camping spots. Previously, only half of the camping spots in the parks were open. Use of self-service kiosks for registration is encouraged.
The parks department has struggled to acquire needed personal protective equipment for staff, which led to the closure of bathrooms in the parks. That has changed.
“We have received PPE from emergency management, so we are now prepared to open up the bathroom, keeping in mind if we run out of PPE we may need to close them down at some point,” Miller said.
For all of the openings, the target is to be ready for the weekend.
Hours after the commission and parks staff approved the plan, Kelly announced plans to move Kansas to a new phase of reopening.
Her “modified Phase 2” plan will allow more businesses to open, though with limitations. Still closed will be bars and night clubs; entertainment venues with a capacity of 2,000 or more; fairs; festivals; carnivals; parades; swimming pools and summer camps.
The order limits mass gatherings to 15 people or fewer.
Kelly ordered the plan to be in effect until June 8, when Phase 3 would take effect and increase the mass gathering number to 45.