A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

GAPS and its grounds in time of corona

Written June 22nd, 2020 by Hasso Hering

People using the tracks at Albany schools for their daily walking routine may regain access this week, but playgrounds on school property are likely to stay closed for the time being.

I had noticed that the field and track at West Albany High were still locked up last week after city playgrounds had been reopened and public parks generally had been open all along during the corona crisis.

Schools operate under a set of corona rules different from the city and other agencies, explained Andrew Tomsky, spokesman for the Greater Albany Public Schools.

He told me today that Russ Allen, the GAPS business director, was seeking clarification from the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority.

But, he added, “Our plan now is to open our fields and tracks this week after creating and posting signage regarding social distancing and other health parameters set forth by the state.”

“OHA guidance for playgrounds, however, requires frequently cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces. Those requirements apply to all playgrounds in the state. Since we do not have the capacity to do that in our facilities, our playgrounds will remain closed at this point in time.”

What’s up with tracks, fields and playgrounds isn’t as important as what happens in schools themselves, and in classrooms, as the Year of the Coronavirus continues. But on that crucial point, decisions have yet to be announced. (hh)




3 responses to “GAPS and its grounds in time of corona”

  1. Lundy says:

    The Eugene school district, I believe, did not close its tracks or football fields. Lebanon’s reopened a few weeks ago.

  2. centrist says:

    The future hasn’t been written yet. The present is too confusing for anything but bad projections.
    Thinking wistfully about a simpler time when “corona” meant a fiiiine cigar.


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