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Killens Pond Water Park closes after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

It will be closed at least until Friday, July 24.

Emily Lytle
Dover Post
Killens Pond State Park water park reopened July 11. It will now be closed until at least July 24.

A staff member at the Killens Pond State Park water park tested positive for COVID-19.The water park will be closed until at least Friday, July 24, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced Friday.

The staff member is asymptomatic but was tested after being in close contact with someone outside the water park who had tested positive. The positive staff member received results Thursday and has begun a required quarantine. 

Following the Division of Public Health’s advice after initial case investigation and contact tracing, 11 other staff members who were in close contact are being tested and have begun a 14-day quarantine from their last exposure to the positive staff member.

The Division of Public Health said water park visitors are considered at low risk for contracting COVID-19 because they were not likely in close contact with the positive staff member, meaning they were not within six feet of the individual for 10 to 15 minutes or more. 

Any visitors who wish to be tested as a precaution can use any of the free testing opportunities offered by the state, which are found at https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing-events/.

The park opened for the season Saturday, July 11. The water park was scheduled to be open this weekend, Monday and Tuesday, and was already scheduled to be closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

DNREC will be notifying those who had already made water park reservations for the next several days directly, and had initially announced Friday’s closure on social media Thursday evening. Anyone who purchased an advanced water park entrance ticket for the closed days will be given a full refund, no additional action is needed.

The water park will undergo full cleaning and sanitizing during the closure. DNREC will announce next week whether the water park will reopen on Friday, July 24 or remain closed.

The water park’s practices since opening have included daily temperature and symptoms checks for all staff, a limit of 30% visitor capacity, online-only reservations in two four-hour blocks each day, a 30-minute mid-day cleaning break, required use of masks in most areas, social distancing and frequent cleaning of common areas.

“We took many precautions in the interest of health and safety in operating the water park and we will take the safe route in closing it down for the next few days,” DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said Friday. “We have been advised there was low risk to the public based on the operations and interactions, but everyone should always be on the watch for coronavirus symptoms, and we will be watching and testing for any sign of spread among staff before making a firm decision about reopening. We regret that the water park will not be available during the upcoming hot days, but the health of our visitors and staff must come first.”