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Springfield-Greene County park officials leaving water faucets off for now

Sequiota Park/Springfield, Mo.
Sequiota Park/Springfield, Mo.(KY3)
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 5:20 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The water fountains at Springfield-Greene County parks, like Sequiota, won’t be turned on for now.

Park officials turned them off at the beginning of the pandemic. They’re normally shut down each winter too.

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board officials say they do not have the staff to provide the level of cleaning required to reopen the outdoor fountains. The Centers for Disease Control recommends cleaning what are defined as high-touch surfaces at least once a day.

“People may choose to clean these surfaces more frequently or disinfect in addition to cleaning if certain conditions apply that can increase the risk of infection from touching surfaces, including high transmission of COVID-19 in the community, low number of people wearing masks, infrequent hand hygiene, or the space being used by certain populations, such as those at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19,” wrote Public Affairs Specialist Jasmine Reed of the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

Reed also cautions the, “CDC has not examined survival of SARS-CoV-2 on outdoor surfaces, including outdoor drinking fountains at public outdoor facilities like parks or pools.”

The Springfield Greene County Health Department told us, “More frequent cleaning is needed when the space is occupied by children and others who may not consistently wear masks, wash hands, or cover coughs and sneezes.”

At this point, the CDC is not defining what “more frequent cleaning” means.

The agency did add a hopeful note when responding to our question. “Because environmental factors such as heat and evaporation can affect the risk of surface transmission of SARS-CoV-2, we expect the risk of surface transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in outdoor settings to be lower than indoor settings. Because of this, surfaces in outdoor settings would generally require less frequent cleaning than those in indoor settings,” noted Reed.

For now, the advice for runners, walkers and dog owners heading to the park is to pack your own water until a decision is made to reopen the fountains.

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