Medford summer programming adapts to new guidelines

MEDFORD, Ore. — Businesses are starting to slowly open back up, but some city programming is still in limbo.

“We need to make sure how we plan on doing those things jives with the guidelines in place,” Rich Rosenthal, Medford Parks and Recreation Director, said.

Rosenthal says there will be changes to summer programming to adapt to the ‘new normal.’

“Takes time to figure out how we’re going to pull these things off, how much staff time is involved with running these things, how many physical modifications we have to make to facilities,” Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal says the department still intends to offer 11 fun-filled weeks of summer camp with smaller group sizes and increased sanitation.

“Content would be adjusted to enhance physical distancing,” Rosenthal said.

He does anticipate an increased demand for camp scholarships, making the Parks and Recreation Foundation even more important. Then, there’s figuring out camp staff, as the city of Medford is in a hiring freeze.

“We are trying to assess what we can do with the staff we already have in payroll and what adjustments we may have to make if we can’t hire additional,” Rosenthal said.

But not everything may open back up.

“Jackson Aquatic Center is in doubt at this point,” Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal says if the pool does open, swim lessons will be prioritized.

“What I think is real iffy at this point is whether we will open or should open for recreational swim,” Rosenthal said.

He says the soonest the pool could open is late June, but the city is still waiting on direction from the state.

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