Public playgrounds, park pavilions and restrooms, along with athletic fields and courts reopened to the public in Canton on Monday, city officials said.
The facilities had been closed for the past couple of months to slow spread of the novel coronavirus during the ongoing pandemic.
As of midday Monday there had been 714 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in Cherokee County since testing began in March, and 24 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Over the past several weeks, guidelines have relaxed to allow the reopening of businesses and facilities and after reviewing concerns and requests of residents, Canton plans to reopen certain park amenities and announce initial plans for upcoming events, City Manager Billy Peppers said in an email.
City public works staff have used the time over the last month to pressure wash all playground equipment, provide for routine maintenance of equipment and sites, and to test cleaning solutions, Peppers said. The playgrounds will be cleaned daily using environmentally friendly products. Social Distancing of six feet from those outside your household is a state directive and should be observed.
City officials ask that parents use good judgment and hygiene related to the use of playgrounds and if a family member is ill, stay at home, Peppers said. Children should wash hands prior to, and after visiting the playground. Snacks should not be consumed in the playground area. Finally, visitors are being asked to wear face coverings while at the playgrounds.
Restrooms reopened at city parks on Monday. The restrooms are maintained daily, however Canton encourages citizens using these facilities to use personal responsibility when using them, Peppers said. Wash hands, consider using a hand-wipe to open doors, etc. Consider wiping down tables and benches at the public pavilions that have been used and abide by the state guideline for social distancing. Large parties are not permitted and congregations of more than 10 are not allowed, he said.
Basketball courts, tennis courts, and baseball fields at city parks were also opened for recreational use starting Monday, Peppers said. Individuals not from the same household who venture out to any of these courts are required to follow state social distancing requirements of six feet. Non-related groups of more than 10 or organized teams are not permitted to use these facilities, he said. Water fountains will not be available for use.
City facilities such as city hall, the public safety and municipal court complex, and the public works office will remain closed to the public through June 1. Canton is using the next couple of weeks to finish up modification projects that will enhance customer experience, Peppers said. Payments can still be made online or by using the drop box at city hall. Municipal court instructions for May 20 should be provided from the court. The city council meeting on May 21 will be available online.
Canton also provided an update on future city events that are scheduled to take place in the near future.
First Friday for June 5 in downtown has been canceled.
The Canton Farmers Market will begin Saturday, June 6 at Brown Park, next to the public safety and municipal court complex, from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information about this event, visit: https://www.facebook.com/CantonGAFarmersMarket/
The Canton River Rock Summer Concert Series will begin on Saturday, June 20 at Etowah River Park. More information about this event will be forthcoming.
Canton is planning to move forward with the July 4 Fireworks at Riverstone.