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Thu, Aug. 06

Open for Exercise: Kingman, Mohave County taking safety precautions at parks

(Photo for illustration purposes only)

(Photo for illustration purposes only)

City of Kingman and Mohave County parks and trails remain open to the public per Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order regarding business closures and essential services, but both entities are taking proactive steps to keep their residents safe.

Mike Meersman, city parks director, said his department is doing all it can to address the sanitization challenges associated with coronavirus. Step 1, he said, was to look at best practices of other municipalities, park systems and golf courses before implementing those practices for Kingman.

“We’ve gone back and reinforced our already strict practices and policies regarding how we clean all of our facilities,” Meersman said. “Our goal, in this time and always, is to ensure a clean, safe and sanitary environment, and our associates are exceeding the guidelines for cleanliness set in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

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Foam washers placed around the pins in the holes at Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course allow golfers to safely retrieve a ball without touching the cup. (Photo by Casey Jones/Kingman Miner)

Meersman said the city has increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing park restrooms, customer spaces, gathering areas, playground equipment and drinking fountains.

“We are averaging 24 hours a day per sanitizing all touch points. Four employees are on constant rotation through the 14 parks sanitizing all highly-touched areas of tables, playgrounds, drinking fountains, benches, bathrooms, etc.,” Meersman said. “We have adjusted the shifts of our team members to maintain social distancing and to have sanitizing continued throughout the day.”

Any frequently touched surfaces are disinfected. And while some smaller municipalities are running into a shortage of sanitization supplies, Meersman and Kingman Mayor Jen Miles confirmed that’s not the case in Kingman. When asked if the city is well-stocked on sanitization and other related supplies, Meersman responded “Yes, very well.”

“We have a truck with a 100 gallon tank and a pump that we have always used to sanitize restrooms, and know it is being used all day for sanitizing everything” Meersman said. “We have also purchased seven, one gallon spray tanks that we use for sanitizing as well.”

City-owned Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course has also increased safety precautions. Again, staff looked at and evaluated best practices of other facilities.

Meersman said fleet carts are sanitized after each use and prior to being pulled out in the morning. Bunker rakes have been removed so as to eliminate touch points, and pool noodles have been added to the bottom of flagsticks to prevent multiple hands from reaching into the cup. Ball washers have been filled with a sanitizing solution, and tee stations and associated items near them are on a two-hour sanitizing schedule for benches, ball washer handles and hand rails.

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A City of Kingman parks employee sanitizes playground equipment in this courtesy photo. All city parks and trails remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, and the parks department has instituted a rigorous sanitization regimen in the parks. (City of Kingman Courtesy photo)

“A two-hour rotation of sanitizing is being done throughout the day to the course restrooms, door handles, drinking fountains, and all associated touch points,” Meersman reiterated.

The clubhouse and maintenance facility are being consistently and routinely sanitized at all touch points, the director said, and orders to the grill are on a to-go basis only.

“To practice social distancing we are limiting the number of customers being allowed in the Pro Shop at one time. We have Xs on the floor for spacing,” Meersman said. “Tee times are being staggered to allow for sanitizing efforts in between customers and less gathering inside the clubhouse.”

Kingman’s Parks and Recreation Department has also increased safety measures for staff, having installed Plexiglas dividers at its office at 3333 Harrison St.

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Mohave County designed and installed signs like these to encourage visitors to practice social distancing in county-operated parks, which remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. (Mohave County courtesy photo)

Mohave County is also taking mitigating steps related to the spread of COVID-19.

Mohave County Parks Administrator Hal Barton confirmed that the county’s two large regional parks – Hualapai Mountain Park and Davis Camp in Bullhead City – are open to the public. Also open are the county’s four community parks – Chloride Park, Mount Tipton Park, Neal Butler Park near Kingman and Veteran’s Park in Golden Valley – where playgrounds remain open.

“Our janitors are cleaning the parks constantly,” Barton said.

“Our parks are currently open,” County Manger Mike Hendrix said, but all gatherings of 10 people or more are discouraged, County Manager Mike Hendrix said.

The U.S. National Park Service is considering closing parks, and that would include Katherine Landing in the Lake Meade National Recreation Area near Bullhead City, Hendrix said. That would be a trigger to close Davis Camp Park, too, he added.

County Public Works Director Steven Latoski said his crew designed signs to inform people about the need for social distancing.

“They look fantastic,” Latoski said.

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Several golfers finish a round at city-owned Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course in Kingman on Friday, March 27. (Photo by Casey Jones/Kingman Miner)

Keep in mind that those leaving the home during the coronavirus pandemic are asked for follow safety directives issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mohave County Department of Public Health, and other local, state and federal agencies and elected officials.

First and foremost, if an individual or a family member feels unwell with COVID-19 symptoms of fever, dry cough and sore throat, visiting parks is not a good idea. Those persons can utilize Kingman Regional Medical Center’s Care Anywhere telemedicine service online at https://krmc.zipnosis.com/ to speak with a medical provider from the safety of their homes.

Even those who feel healthy need to take precautions when going outside and into public. Social distancing, 6 feet between individuals, should be practiced at all times, health officials advised.

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