WXXI AM News

Rochester spray parks will be open for start of summer

Jun 19, 2020

Spray parks in Rochester, previously closed to slow the spread of COVID-19, will be open starting Saturday.
Credit City of Rochester

The city of Rochester is reopening spray parks that had been closed because of COVID-19.

Starting Saturday, eight spray parks will be open daily from noon to 6 p.m., the city said. Two more parks are under construction.

Park hours could be extended when temperatures climb above 90 degrees and the city enters a “Cool Sweep heat emergency.”

The city will limit the number of people who can use the parks at one time in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Earlier this month, temperatures topped out at 94 degrees in the city, but spray parks stayed closed.

“Gathering in close proximity and engaged in physically strenuous behavior like running around a spray park appears to be a likely possibility for transmission,” city spokesperson Justin Roj said at the time.

Now, with the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Monroe County dropping, the city is striking a new balance between allowing relief from the heat and providing protection from the virus.

The city’s indoor cooling centers -- air-conditioned places like libraries and gyms -- will remain closed, Roj said, at least until the state health department offers guidance on how to open them safely.