MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- Wisconsinites have had to adapt to constant change for nearly the past three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It has postponed many summer programs and camps across the state.  Offerings through Milwaukee Recreation will resume July 6, with noticeable safety precautions in place.

“All of our Milwaukee Recreation full and part-time staff will be required to wear face masks,” says Recreation Coordinator Leighton Cooper. “For our participants, we recommend but, don’t require wearing face masks, but we’ll have those available at our locations.”

Hand sanitizer will be available as well.  All staff will also undergo daily temperature checks.  Play spaces, including outdoor playground, will be deep cleaned regularly, Cooper says.

“We have capped enrollment in some of our programs and activities,” Cooper says.  “Our before and after school programs are capped at 50 students.”

Individual group sizes for community center activities have been capped at 9 participants.  The teacher to student ratio has also been reduced to one teacher for every 9 students.  

In addition to in-person programs, Milwaukee Recreation will continue its online Rec at Home program for those who do not feel comfortable in a group setting.

Lauren Lopez-Gonzalez says she and her co-worker are excited to be able to bring these programs back to the Milwaukee community this summer.

“We’re talking about after school programming, the Twilight Center programming which is a teen program in the evening Monday through Friday,” she says.  “We’re going to be offering community center classes, but the one program we won’t be offering this summer is aquatics.”

Group activities in outdoor playground is also suspended.

“They’re going to be giving away different prizes so people can do lots of individual play,” she says.  “It’s going to be a great creative time and the best that we can do to make sure people are safe and still having fun.”

Cooper says a recent survey was conducted, asking families if summer programming was needed this year.  He says the response was an overwhelming ‘yes.’

“This provides an outlet for families to have additional care and for young people to be engaged uniquely,” Cooper says.

Milwaukee Recreation has developed program-specific manuals for staff, outlining these new safety precautions.  The easiest way to sign up for a program is online.  Click here to access the portal.