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At their regular meeting on Tuesday, October 6, the City Council voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Public Safety Subcommittee, and reopen all parks and recreational facilities in Sanford and Springvale to low and moderate risk activities, as defined by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development’s community sports guidelines.

Lower Risk activities include those than can be done individually, or with physical distancing and no physical contact. These include tennis, pickleball, catch and disc golf. Moderate Risk activities are those that involve intermittent close proximity or limited contact, which can be mitigated with protective equipment. Examples include baseball, softball, soccer, 7 x 7 flag football, field hockey, volleyball, cheering and more.

Additionally, recreational facilities including the fields and the gazebo at Gowen Park will now be available for rental once again. The requirements for masks and social distancing are still in effect.

Rec Department staff will be disinfecting playground equipment once a day, as they were doing before the closure.

High Risk activities, including football and wrestling, are not allowed at this time.

Councilor Ayn Hanselmann, a member of the Public Safety Subcommittee, said the number of Covid-19 cases and outbreaks in Sanford, which appear to be stabilizing if not tapering off, was one factor in the decision to recommend reopening. The state Reopening Plan going into Stage 4, further reducing restrictions on businesses, was another factor.

She gave kudos to the community for making the effort to socially distance and wear masks. “Taking those steps is what gets us back to this point,” she added.

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