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Tucker summer camp in planning stages

COVID-19 Crime and public safety Decatur Tucker

Tucker summer camp in planning stages

A photo of the May 13 Tucker City Council meeting.
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By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor

Tucker, GA – Parents suffering from quarantine fatigue will be happy to learn that summer camp in Tucker is in the works.

Tucker city staff and council members met May 13 to discuss summer programming and court proceedings, following Gov. Brian’s Kemps new executive order. The City Council did not vote on these issues.

Tucker plans to begin summer programming on June 1.

“We are planning for what we know now, based on this order. An option is to plan just for the month of June, then revisit it … for July and what’s left for August,” said City Manager Tami Hanlin.

Other cities are taking different approaches. Decatur recently announced it was canceling all of the city-sponsored summer camps.

Rip Robertson, Tucker Parks and Recreation director, presented options for opening city-run summer camps, tennis courts, and swimming pools, using recommendations from Gov. Brian Kemp, Center for Disease Control (CDC), and National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

Summer camp is a priority for working families, said Robertson. He presented two options for children’s programming.

Option one limits the number of hours and campers; it is held in pocket parks with trips to local swimming pools, organized outdoor sports and games, and offers virtual programming. This option allows the rec center to re-open for exercise classes.

Option two is based on room size and social distancing recommendations; it is held at Tucker Rec Center; and offers time indoors and outdoors, and trips to local pools. This option does not allow for non-campers and staff to hold classes at the rec center.

Feedback from council members included Noelle Monferdini’s preference to hold camp at the Rec Center with direct access to a restroom.

“I don’t like the inability for hand washing. The CDC has said all along that handwashing is Better than hand sanitizer. I also worry about not having enough hand sanitizer,” she said.

Anne Lerner said, “Some kids come to camp for a meal. We need to remember that.”

Robertson said tennis courts may open for singles only at the guidance of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Tournaments and league play are suspended through May.

Tucker will offer hand sanitizer on tennis courts and regularly clean gates. Council members agreed with clear signage, appropriate distancing, city staff on site, and limited hours of play, it is safe for Tucker residents to return to the tennis court.

Robertson said Tucker pools will be ready to open by Memorial Day weekend. He suggested limiting 30 guests per 150-minute visit; an online reservation and pay system; sectioning areas with cones to demonstrate appropriate distancing; disinfecting bathrooms and common areas between groups.

Playground equipment remains closed until further notice. Both the CDC and NRPA advise park users to continue not to use playgrounds and other frequently touched equipment.

City Clerk Bonnie Warne said court cases from March, April, and May are scheduled to begin next week. Before entering a courtroom, visitors to city hall annex will have symptoms checked. Under state guidelines, social distancing will be practiced when court resumes on May 19.

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