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Chesterfield County libraries, parks to reopen soon

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Posted at 6:48 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 18:48:34-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Outdoor park amenities and libraries in Chesterfield County may be opening soon in a tiered approach to reopening county facilities.

In accordance with some state restrictions being lifted to allow certain nonessential businesses or operations to reopen, Chesterfield plans to reopen pickleball, tennis and basketball courts and playgrounds at county parks as soon as May 12 and reopen select libraries possibly by June 1.

Community recreation centers, as well as the popular Rockwood Nature Center, are also expected to open June 1.

All reopen dates are tentative and subject to change based on data showing how well we are controlling the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are taking a very careful and deliberate approach to how we reopen facilities over time,” said Dr. Joe Casey, county administrator. “Using a tiered approach based on established priorities ensures we can maintain and gradually increase service levels while identifying and addressing needs or challenges that arise.”

Chesterfield is currently considering which of the county’s 10 libraries to reopen first, as well as modified hours to enable daily cleaning.

Library customers who have used the curbside service will also be able to drop off their books beginning May 18 using drop-off slots at any of the county’s 10 branches. Returned books will be handled within CDC guidelines ensuring they are clean when checked out, again.

“We are delighted to finally begin the process of reopening our libraries to the public, though in a limited capacity that still prioritizes the health of customers and staff,” Library Director Mike Mabe said.

The county is currently planning for park courts and playgrounds to reopen by May 12 with established health precautions including gatherings of no more than 10 people and the highly recommended use of protective face masks, especially for any activities that could involve physical contact.

“The county’s parks are an integral part of peoples’ lives, so our aim has always been to reopen amenities as soon as possible and while being ever mindful of the health and well-being of park visitors and staff,” said Dr. James Worsley, Parks and Recreation director.

“Our goal is to begin the process of returning Chesterfield to some level of normalcy while not letting our guard down,” Dr. Casey said. “In addition to planning the county’s slow and deliberate path toward reopening, we are equipped to quickly reverse plans, if needed.”