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Here’s Phoenix’s Plan To Reopen Senior And Community Centers

More than a year after Phoenix closed its senior and community centers to the public, leaders approved a tiered reopening plan Wednesday.

Starting June 7, Phoenix will reopen 11 of the city’s 27 community and recreation centers. Capacity will be limited to 50% for summer youth camps and limited indoor classes. Registration is required and drop-in use will not be allowed.

Phoenix’s public health consultant, Dr. Saskia Popescu, told council members Phoenix falls in between substantial and moderate transmission risks.

“As you can imagine, when you start reopening things, especially with newer protocols, it can be a trial period for a little bit and it’s really important with vulnerable people that we take the time to ensure we’re doing this correctly and not rushing into it," Popescu said. 

Popescu, an epidemiologist, said children are not able to be vaccinated at this time and although there have not been many cases of children getting seriously ill from COVID-19, they can get and spread it.

Acting Parks Director Cynthia Aguilar said children attending summer camps will eat outdoors unless there’s inclement weather or heat advisories are issued: "On those days the children would be taken inside and having their meals and we would ensure that is happening at six feet or greater of distance from one another,” she said.

Phoenix will also reopen all 15 senior centers at 50% capacity starting June 7. Meals will not be served on-site but weekly frozen take home meals will be provided.

Masks will be required along with temperature checks. About three weeks after reopening, the council will consider expanding capacity and opening the remaining facilities.

Below is information provided by Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department:

Those facilities will be operated with the following COVID-19 protocols and safety amenities in place.

  • Open at 50% capacity
  • A mask or face covering will be required per the city’s mandate
  • A COVID-19 screening survey will be required upon arrival at a facility
  • Temperature checks will be administered upon arrival at a facility
  • Public facing reception areas will provide contactless customer service (plexiglass barriers have been installed at all service desks)
  • Positioning of facility furniture and installation of signage to encourage physical distancing
  • Hand sanitizer stations and touchless light switches have been installed at all facilities
  • Fresh air intake volume has been increased at all facilities
  • Janitorial staff will clean high-touch surfaces and restrooms daily

In-person summer youth camps for ages 6 to 12 will be offered at those 11 locations starting the week of June 7. Options for camps and other indoor recreation classes will be viewable on the  Activenet registration website starting May 7. Registration for summer camps and programs will open on May 12 at 4:30 p.m.

Online registration is recommended, but in-person, walk-in registration will be available from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on May 12 at the following community centers — Desert West ( 6501 W. Virginia Ave.), Eastlake ( 1549 E. Jefferson St.), Longview ( 4040 N. 14th St.), Paradise Valley ( 17402 N. 40th St.), South Mountain ( 212 E. Alta Vista Rd.) and Washington ( 2240 W. Citrus Way). After May 12, in-person registration will be available by appointment only at the  Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department’s division offices.

Permit Process For Private Events Held On City Park Property

Effective May 10, the process will resume for community members to apply for a special activity request to hold a private event in a city park with more than 50 people, such as a birthday party or family gathering. That includes resuming the process to apply for a beer permit, or for use of an inflatable bounce house or amplified sound on park property.

Requests for a special event on park property that is open to the public still must be submitted for review by the  City Manager’s Special Event Committee. Examples of these events include festivals, food truck events, craft fairs, etc.

Rentals Of City Pools By High School Swim And Dive Teams

Select city pools will be available for rental use by high school swim and dive teams for the 2021 fall season. All teams will be required to follow city and Arizona Interscholastic Association COVID-19 safety guidelines.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.