A staff member at the Killens Pond State Park water park has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the water park will be closed until at least Friday, July 24, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced Friday.
The staff member is asymptomatic but was tested based on close contact with someone outside the water park who had tested positive. The positive staff member received results Thursday and has begun a required quarantine. Following the advice of the state Division of Public Health after initial case investigation and contact tracing, 11 other water park staff members who were determined to have been in close contact are being tested and have also begun a 14-day quarantine from their last exposure to the positive staff member.
The Division of Public Health has advised DNREC that visitors to the water park are considered at low risk for contracting COVID-19 because they likely did not meet the threshold for close contact with the positive staff member, which is presence within 6 feet of an individual for 10 to 15 minutes or more. However, any water park visitors who wish to be tested as a precaution can utilize any of the free testing opportunities being offered by the state, which are found at https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing-events/.
The Killens water park opened for the season Saturday, July 11. The water park had been scheduled to be open this weekend, Monday and Tuesday, and was already scheduled to be closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays. DNREC will be notifying those who had already made water park reservations for the next several days directly, and had initially announced Friday’s closure on social media Thursday evening. Anyone who had purchased an advanced water park entrance ticket for the closed days will be given a full refund, no additional action is needed.
The water park will undergo full cleaning and sanitizing during the closure. DNREC will announce next week whether the water park will reopen on Friday, July 24 or remain closed.
The water park’s practices since opening have included daily temperature and symptoms checks for all staff, a limit of 30 percent visitor capacity, online-only reservations in two four-hour blocks each day, a 30-minute mid-day cleaning break, required use of masks in most areas, social distancing and frequent cleaning of common areas.
“We took many precautions in the interest of health and safety in operating the water park and we will take the safe route in closing it down for the next few days,” DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said Friday. “We have been advised there was low risk to the public based on the operations and interactions, but everyone should always be on the watch for coronavirus symptoms, and we will be watching and testing for any sign of spread among staff before making a firm decision about reopening. We regret that the water park will not be available during the upcoming hot days, but the health of our visitors and staff must come first.”