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Reeves eases restrictions on outdoor recreation facilities, sports complexes

Gov. Tate Reeves announced Friday the state’s ‘Safer At Home’ order is being extended through Monday, June 1, but with some changes that loosen restrictions, mainly on outdoor recreation facilities and school athletic and sports complexes.

“We cannot ask the people of Mississippi to do more than they are able to do for a sustained period of time. Over the past two weeks, we have steadily opened up more and more of our economy. That is good and right. It is necessary,” Reeves said. “There are very, very few businesses still closed. There will still be some guidelines in place for businesses — but we will be out of the business of closing down anybody.”

The new guidelines go into effect Monday at 8 a.m.

In addition, the orders also allow for the reopening of water parks.

Following the Reeves’ announcement, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. announced the city’s splash pad downtown will reopen Monday.

To help with social distancing on the first day of the splash pad reopening, Flaggs said he would have an officer on hand to remind people of the need to keep proper social distancing.

While the order does not appear to allow for the return of tournaments just yet to city facilities, or those at Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi, it does provide additional practicing guidelines and easing of some restrictions.

The new guidelines for outdoor recreational facilities include:

For businesses/facilities:

• Before they can reopen, the entire outdoor park must be deep-cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized top to bottom, including areas not open to the public.

• All outdoor parks are expected to take every step necessary to implement the regulations, orders, and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

• Waiting areas and lines must mark spots at least 6 feet apart to ensure social distancing. Employees must be stationed there to make sure social distancing is followed.

• No more than 50 percent of the outdoor park’s capacity.

• Outdoor parks must post signage at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.

• Equipment must be rearranged and/or deactivated to ensure at least 6 feet between customers.

• All high-touch areas must be sanitized at least once every two hours.

• Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances.

• Food services are allowed, following restaurant guidelines under Executive Order No. 1478.

For employees:

• All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have had a fever in the last 48 hours.

• All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.

• Face coverings must be provided to all employees. Employees are required to wear that face covering throughout their shift and clean or replace daily.

For customers:

• Customers must be screened upon entry into the outdoor park.

• Customers must sanitize their hands upon entry and when moving between rides or equipment.


The guidelines for schools and sports complexes:

• Schools may open weight rooms and training facilities for use by students, following gym guidelines under Executive Order No. 1480.

• Team practices at outdoor sports complexes and multi-field complexes and schools’ outdoor practices are allowed to resume, following outdoor recreational activities guidelines under Executive Order No. 1478.


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