Evansville playgrounds remain closed as statewide reopening plans move forward

Updated: May. 22, 2020 at 6:00 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The next phase of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s “Back on Track Indiana” plan goes into effect on Friday.

Playgrounds were originally supposed to open in Stage 3 of the state’s reopening plan, but Gov. Holcomb made it official this week and stated their reopening plans will have to wait.

“Guarantee you there’s some folks that are disappointed," Evansville Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer said. “Families with children that want to go to Mickey’s Kingdom, want to go to other playgrounds in the community, but we all have to realize we’re keeping health and safety in mind."

Schaefer told 14 News that state officials have big questions for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Will health screenings be needed to enter playgrounds? How many kids will be able to be on the playground at one time? How often will playgrounds need to be cleaned?

“I would like to see them check everyone’s temperature and stuff before they enter the playground just to be on the safe side,” parent Kenn Connor Jr. said.

With the future reopening date for playgrounds to be determined, the Connor family is finding other ways to keep busy.

“We’ve been in the house most of the time and it feels like a nice day today, so I just decided to take them out on a little walk,” Connor said.

However, nothing compares to making friends and playing in the magical place that is a playground.

“I have this toy that I really want to dig up stuff with," Kenn Connor III said. “Hoping to dig up something random, like a skeleton. Probably a lizard skeleton so then I can use it as armor for my toys.”

“The thing I miss the most about the playground is like - you don’t meet most people there because you’re stuck inside the house," Cindred Connor said. “Like you can only walk and just view the playground.”

The city of Evansville is hoping that once CDC guidelines become more clear, the playgrounds will be able to reopen.

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