By Riley Morningstar

The Journal

SENECA — Oconee County parks are set to reopen in two stages, with the first stage beginning in less than two weeks.

Oconee County parks are set to begin reopening on May 15 after closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (File)

On May 15, day use at all county parks and the High Falls boat ramp will open with limited hours, according to a news release from county parks, recreation and tourism director Phil Shirley. Restrooms will be open during the day and “sanitized multiple times daily, closing temporarily after each cleaning until sanitizing products are dry,” according to the release.

Park capacity will be limited to 50 percent on a first-come, first-served basis.

One week later, on May 22, playgrounds will be opened for public use and cleaned like public bathrooms. For May, hours will be limited from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

On June 1, parks will return to regular hours, and campgrounds will open for existing reservations. No new reservations will be accepted until June 15, and buildings and shelter rentals will remain closed, the release said. Each park’s capacity will be limited to 75 percent.

In late March, parks were shut down through April due to the spread of COVID-19.

“Oconee County urges citizens and residents to continue safety precautions to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, or the coronavirus,” the county said in a release. “Park visitors should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not regularly available, hand sanitizer may be used. All persons should maintain a safe social distance of 6 feet from others, as recommended by federal authorities. If you experience symptoms, please stay home except to get medical care.”

Any questions about the scheduled reopening plan can be directed to the county parks, recreation and tourism department at (864) 882-5250.

[email protected] | (864) 973-6685