Officials in The Villages are looking ahead to a “new norm” in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.
Regional recreation centers and their swimming pools will be reopening on May 4. It will be the first wave of an envisioned phased reopening across Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
Up until May 3, the District is engaging in aerosol sanitizing and deep cleaning of facilities in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
When residents begin to return to recreation centers and swimming pools they will find 6-foot buffers in room layouts and swimming pool areas so that social distancing may be actively practiced. All activities will end by 8 p.m. to allow for next-day cleaning.
Residents will need to provide their own protective gear, including face masks, gloves, wipes and hand sanitizer. They will also need to bring their own water bottles, as water fountains will not be operational and water coolers will not be provided.
“This new norm will require your support and assistance,” said Recreation Director John Rohan.
“While this first phase will have some limitations and restrictions in our operations, services and available activities and facilities, it will allow residents, with everyone’s cooperation and support, the ability to enjoy recreation and parks again,” he said.
Villagers remain cautious and seem to agree with Rohan’s assessment.
“Reopening success will really depend on how people comply with the distancing rules. They didn’t before, and even with the mandate, they still didn’t. Too many people were acting selfishly, like overgrown two-year-olds demanding to have their way, no matter the consequences to everyone else,” said Lia Binetti of the Village of Winifred.
She said it’s not too difficult to stay six feet apart.
“So reopening successfully really depends on the people, not the government,” she said.
Another Villager agreed with that assessment.
“Optimistically, if everyone truly obeys guidelines and cares about themselves and others it could be a good start,” said Susan Ingham of the Village of Country Club Hills.