Loudoun, Leesburg to Reopen Parks, Facilities

With Northern Virginia entering the second phase of a gradual reopening from COVID-19 pandemic precautions, Loudoun County and the Town of Leesburg will begin to reopen parks, pools, fields and other amenities to the public.

On Monday, June 15, Loudoun County childcare services and outdoor fitness programs begin reopening. That Friday, June 19, outdoor pools open and the next Monday, June 22, all aquatic, community, recreation and senior centers reopen. Families registered in programs scheduled to start before June 22 will receive refunds.

The county is also allocating field time for affiliated sports leagues, with the fields opening June 15.

Programs will be modified to fit with Phase 2 safety guidelines, including enhanced cleaning and 10-foot social distancing during activities. Attendance is limited to 30 percent of occupancy or 50 people in each group, whichever is less.

Meanwhile, baseball, softball and cricket teams can do drills, practices and games, while other sports are limited to conditioning drills. Attendance, including participants and parents, guardians and caretakers of children, is limited to half of normal field occupancy or 50 people, whichever is less.

County parks are already open for outdoor recreational and leisure use, with 50 or fewer people permitted at each amenity or designated area. Summer park programs will begin June 22.

And visitors to all county facilities will be expected to follow social distancing guidelines and other safety measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center, the Franklin Park Pool splash pad and play features, adult day centers, indoor leisure pool features such as slides and hot tubs, and climbing walls remain closed.

Get more information about Loudoun Parks, Recreation and Community Service reopening atloudoun.gov/5331/PRCS-Closures-and-Operating-Status. Get more information about COVID-19 in Loudoun atloudoun.gov/covi19.

The Town of Leesburg, too, is reopening facilities.

The Ida Lee Park Recreation Center will reopen at 30 percent capacity with modified hours and limits on some equipment. Operations will be modified to maintain 10 feet of social distancing. Indoor fitness classes will resume and the gym will be open for shooting basketball (no games) with a maximum of four people, per hoop, at a time. The racquetball courts will also reopen for single play only. The indoor pool will be available for lap swimming and exercise only. A maximum of three people will be allowed per lane.

Ida Lee’s outdoor pool, the A.V. Symington Aquatic Center, will remain closed during Phase 2.

Town ballfields, basketball courts, playgrounds, and park pavilions will also reopen. The outdoor tennis courts, community gardens, dog park, and skate park opened during Phase 1.

The Thomas Balch Library will expand the hours for in-person research appointments, which began in Phase 1. Drop-ins will not be available at this time. Go toleesburgva.gov/libraryfor details.

Leesburg Town Hall will resume its lobby reception coverage, on Monday, June 15, while the second and third floors will reopen to the public. Plan and permit intake and pickup will return to the second floor windows.

Additional changes to town facilities and programs will be posted to the town’s website as they are implemented. For more information regarding Phase 2 in the Town of Leesburg, go toleesburgva.gov/coronavirus.

Loudoun County Health Department Director Dr. David Goodfriend warned the reopening does not mean the pandemic is over.

“It is important to recognize that while the steps Loudoun residents have taken over the past two months to reduce the spread of infection have caused the health metrics to head in the right direction and allowed us to move to Phase Two of the reopening plan, the potential for exposure to COVID-19 remains present in our community,” Goodfriend stated. “So, I continue to recommend that older adults and people with underlying health conditions use extra caution in public, and ask that all of us remain vigilant in practicing infection control measures that include washing hands frequently, staying home when sick, maintaining six foot distances when possible and wearing face coverings in public, to help keep us headed in the right direction.”

Loudoun recently saw its longest stretch without the virus killing anyone since the pandemic began, according to state data. From June 2 to June 10, there were no deaths reported from COVID-19.

But on Thursday, June 11, two more people were reported to have died from the diseases.

As of Thursday, there have been 3,229 cases of the disease found, with 201 hospitalizations and 69 deaths. Health officials still do not know how many people may have the virus that causes COVID-19 without showing symptoms.

Loudoun has seen 11 outbreaks of the virus in long-term care facilities, and two in congregate settings. The virus has been particularly deadly for older adults, with the youngest fatality in her 50s and most older than 80.

Parks, pools and other recreation facilities have been closed for months as the government scrambled to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and prevent hospitals from being overrun with new cases. Northern Virginia was then one of the areas in the state that was kept closed while other, less crowded parts of the state began to reopen;while Loudoun is entering Phase Two of the governor’s reopening plan Friday, the rest of the state entered the second phase on June 5.

Read the state’s full Phase Two guidelines for reopening here.


krodriguez@loudounnow.com

rgreene@loudounnow.com

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