The city of Ceres will not have an aquatics program or day camps for children this summer after all. Both have been cancelled following optimistic talk at the May 11 City Council meeting in which officials were told by the county health officer to proceed with both.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Ceres Recreation Manager Matthew Lohr. “I love summer so this is not easy for me either. I come from an aquatics background so I’m not thrilled we have to cancel these but for public safety, yeah. I can easily why it’s not happening because of the multiple pieces that go into it.”
Most neighboring cities have cancelled their summer swim programs out of public safety concerns related to the coronavirus.
Lohr said the rollout of the latest guidelines don’t allow Ceres to run its program at the Ceres High School pool. Part of the problem is the distance between the pool and the nearest hand-washing facilities in the restrooms in the nearby gymnasium, said Lohr.
“Newer facilities would have on-deck restrooms, wash places.”
He said the city was also concerned about social distancing of younger children during swim lessons.
“The American Red Cross has come out with any standards yet to do that.”
Lohr said there are concerns about lifeguards reacting promptly to emergencies if they are afraid of catching a virus after coming into close contact with a victim.
The city is rolling out some “virtual” recreation programs, some of which are free or have a small cost for supplies and materials.
One program offers a $24 driver’s training course online which started last week and drew eight students.
“Other things we’re going to do are like virtual art classes. We’ve also talked about doing a family game night out in the parks this summer where everyone is socially distance in their car. We’re working out the details of the other ones depending on what phase we’re in.”
The Ceres Community Center can reopen for small art and dance classes once Stanislaus County has been declared to be in Phase 3. For now the city may offer mini dance classes through Zoom.
The announcements will be given on the city of Ceres’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages or by visiting https://www.ci.ceres.ca.us/235/Recreation-Department