Sudden COVID-19 reopening news shakes up summer programming plans


Sudden COVID-19 reopening news shakes up summer programming plansBy Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor

GRAFTON – As quickly as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down public life, sudden decisions this month to loosen mask mandates and other coronavirus restrictions came as a curveball to local officials planning public events and programs for the summer. 

Simply, many of the guidelines and restrictions that have been in place for the better part of the last year are now falling away, giving new freedom to program leaders, coaches and others who have long had to tailor their plans according to the pandemic.

“We had everything kind of lined up to go, no matter what; it’s just now obviously we don’t have to put as many restrictions in place,” Grafton Recreation Director Jen Andersen said in a recent interview. 

After having to cancel a number of programs last year, Grafton’s Recreation Department had already planned a summer full of activities for this year. 

Their list includes day camps for local youth, a slate of summer concerts and youth sports, among other things. 

In Grafton and neighboring communities, people like Andersen had to plan around capacity limits, social distancing guidelines and a universal mask mandate. Though recent news has changed the landscape, Andersen said plans are largely finalized.

“It’s too late for us to kind of add some more of the stuff that we would have normally done,” she said. “But, but we’ll be getting ready for the upcoming fall schedule with our popular events that are coming back.”

She said the Grafton Recreation Department is also excited to bring more staff on board.

As exciting as the COVID-19 reopening is, however, Andersen said that recent announcements have, indeed, caught some off balance.  

“You think you’re trying to do something and then, there it goes,” she said. “…It’s almost harder right now with how fast things are opening versus the way they were closing down before. We were trying to follow those rules. So it’s been interesting.”

Get the latest on COVID-19, state restrictions, and the ongoing reopening process…


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