coronavirus

Elmhurst Park District Says Pools Will Not Open This Summer

Registration for all summer programming will remain closed until further notice as well, the park district said

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Outdoor pools in Elmhurst will not open for the summer, the western suburb's park district announced Monday, and registration for all summer programming will remain closed as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

All outdoor pools will not open for the 2020 season, the Elmhurst Park District said in an update sent via email and posted on its website, adding that anyone who purchased a season pass can carry it over to use during the 2021 season.

Registration will remain closed for all summer programming, the update reads.

"When we are able to safely reopen, the focus will be on programs and offerings that best meet the community’s needs, including day camps, adult fitness and use of the parks," the note continued, with additional programming to be offered when it's "safe and reasonable to do so."

The park district said will also not allow picnic or facility rentals during the month of June, and that all community events through the end of June have been canceled. Officials said they hoped to reschedule the suburb's 100th Anniversary Community Picnic, originally slated to be held on June 6.

The suburb's updates on summer programming and facilities came as municipalities across Illinois and around the country navigate the challenges of reopening various sectors of the economy while the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

Illinois remains under a stay-at-home order through May 30, with a five-phase, region-by-region reopening plan in place that allows areas to move into looser restrictions on gatherings based on data like rate of infection, hospitalizations and more.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has now revealed details on a five-phased plan to reopen Illinois as the state remains under a stay-at-home order through May 30.

Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley sent Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker a letter on Monday criticizing Pritzker's five-phase plan, particularly for grouping the western suburb, located in DuPage County, in the same region as Chicago and Cook County, which has seen the highest number of cases in the state.

"Elmhurst and DuPage County are on track to meet the required COVID-19 data points dictated in your Restore Illinois Plan in a matter of weeks, if not days," Morley's letter reads, asking that once Elmhurst and DuPage County meet the requirements, they be allowed to move into the third phase of the plan.

"As we are currently part of the Northeast region, per your plan, instead of opening our town in a matter of days we will be forced to wait months until Chicago and other densely populated areas catch up to our progress," Morley continued.

"To be clear this is unacceptable. What will you say to the residents of DuPage County once we meet your criteria but you continue to mandate that we remain closed? A more surgical approach must be applied as we continue to plan and push towards reopening."

The Elmhurst Park District noted in its update Monday night that it projected losses of more than $6 million in membership dues, user fees and facility rental fees under the stay-at-home order. Those losses led the park district to institute a hiring freeze, freeze any open positions, defer more than $1 million in capital projects and will results in furloughs for much of the staff, the letter reads.

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