May 21, 2020 11:45 PM

How to safely enjoy Kansas state parks during Memorial Day weekend

Posted May 21, 2020 11:45 PM
<b>A view of the lake from Kanopolis State Park.</b> Photo courtesy <a href="http://TravelKS.com">TravelKS.com</a>
A view of the lake from Kanopolis State Park. Photo courtesy TravelKS.com

PRATT – Kansas’ 28 state parks, 63 state fishing lakes, and more than 100 wildlife areas remain open to the public and will be popular destinations over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

From camping and horseback riding, to boating and disc golf, there’s no shortage of fun to be had at Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) areas, but visitors must remain steadfast in practicing social distancing, among other safety measures, to ensure these special places remain open and accessible to all.

“We want visitors to enjoy themselves, so long as social distancing is practiced,” Kansas State Parks director Linda Lanterman said. “Our staff have done an incredible job maintaining our parks, and ensuring that facilities remain open, but it’s ultimately up to the public to look out for each other and practice social distancing so we can all remain in good health and continue having these beautiful places to recreate.”

Here’s how visitors can safely enjoy their time at Kansas state parks over the holiday weekend and throughout the summer:

Practice social distancing, even on the water – While six feet is the standard measure for effective social distancing, maintaining a safe distance may look different while on a trail or on the water. Boaters – especially those recreating in or around coves – can practice social distancing by refraining from tying up to other vessels and instead anchoring vessels individually. Boating passengers should also refrain from moving between vessels.

Allow for ample time at boat ramps – Launching a vessel may take a little longer than normal. Plan ahead by having everything ready and packed on your boat before backing down the ramp. Many state park reservoirs and fishing lakes have multiple access points – visitors can benefit from knowing them ahead of time by referencing area maps at ksoutdoors.com. If a desired boat ramp is congested, consider launching at an alternate ramp or parking at a distance until the area clears.

Make reservations and purchases online – While state park staff are on duty to ensure Kansas’ state parks are safe, and that park facilities are regularly cleaned and disinfected, visitors are encouraged to conduct reservation and license purchase needs through KDWPT’s free mobile apps – CampIt KS and HuntFish KS. Campsite reservations can also be made on ReserveAmerica.com, and license purchases made on KSHuntFishCamp.com.

Keep to your camp – KDWPT-managed campsites are perfectly-suited to space visitors a safe distance apart. Visitors should use these designated areas to their advantage and keep family and friends safe by refraining from visiting other campsites or combining sites.

The wild spaces and fun places managed by KDWPT are intended to be enjoyed by all – help KDWPT keep these areas open by practicing social distancing and refraining from gathering in large groups.

For more on outdoor recreation opportunities in Kansas, visit ksoutdoors.com.

Continue Reading Salina Post
May 21, 2020 11:45 PM
Saline County: No new cases; reopening information
Chart courtesy Saline County

Here's Saline County's COVID-19 update for Thursday:

The Saline County Health Department does not have any additional cases of COVID-19 to report today. The Health Department continues to actively monitor two cases who are isolated at home. The rest have met the criteria necessary to be considered recovered and have been released from daily monitoring and isolation.

Announcements:

•The Department for Children and Families announced the creation of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Program. This program will help families who have been impacted by school closures due to COVID-19 to purchase food for their children. This program provides a one-time benefit of up to $291 on a Kansas Benefits Card to Kansas families whose children between the ages of 5 to 18 would receive free or reduced-priced meals at participating schools. Visit their website for additional information: www.dcf.ks.gov.

•A new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic was announced by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. For additional information on how agricultural businesses can apply for assistance, please visit https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.

Phase 2 of the Ad Astra Reopening Plan begins on Friday, May 22nd. Information on Phase 2 and additional guidance documents can be found on our website: www.saline.org/coronavirus. Here are the highlights in Phase 2:

•Mass gatherings of 15 or fewer individuals.

•All businesses/activities allowed in Phase 1 and 1.5 may continue to operate with outlined social distancing, mass gathering, and public health restrictions.

•Nail salons, barbershops, hair salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlors, and other personal service businesses where close contact cannot be avoided may continue to operate, but only for prescheduled appointments.

•Fitness centers and health clubs may continue to operate. In-person group classes will be allowed to begin with groups of no more than 15 individuals at a time. Locker rooms remain closed except for restroom facilities.

•Community Centers may open as long as they follow the mass gatherings and social distancing restrictions. Due to the high-risk population concerns, the Saline County Senior Center will  remain closed; but meals on wheels will continue.

•Indoor leisure paces such as movie theaters, trampoline parks, theaters, museums, and bowling allies may open as long as they follow the mass gathering and social distancing restrictions.

•State-owned and operated casinos will be allowed to operate as long as they follow social distancing and mass gathering restrictions.

•Organized sports facilities, games, and sports practice may operate as long as they follow outlined mass gatherings and social distancing guidelines AND follow guidelines established by the Kansas Recreation and Park Association.

•In-person commencement or graduation ceremonies may continue to occur with no more than 15 individuals in a room, gymnasium, or facility at one time so long as 6-foot social distancing is maintained.

Under Phase 2 these are the things that are NOT allowed to take place:

•Opening of bars and night clubs.

•Outdoor and indoor large entertainment venues with a capacity of 2,000 or more.

•Fairs, festivals, carnivals, and parades.

•Swimming pools (other than backyard pools and those used for physical therapy or first-responder training).

•Summer camps unless they are a licensed child care facility.

Reopening Kansas comes by milestones, not on a timetable. Progress will be measured by monitoring our testing rates, COVID-19 hospitalizations, ability to contact trace, and the availability of personal protectiveequipment. He re’s what you can do to help reach reopening milestones:

•Stay home if you’re sick.

•Wear masks in public settings.

•Maximize physical distance (6 feet or more) in public settings.

•Avoid socializing with large groups.

•High-risk individuals should only leave the house for essential needs.

•Minimize nonessential travel.

•Check-in (via phone/letter/text/email) with friends and family who are isolated.

•Wash your hands frequently.

Help our community in slowing the spread of this virus. Only follow official sources to obtain information: www.saline.org/coronavirus or www.kdheks.gov. Stay Safe & Stay Healthy.