Madison to reopen parks to organized sport practices Original
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MADISON, S.D. (KELO)- The COVID-19 pandemic shut down all parks and businesses in March across the country. 

As the calendar turned to May, local and state governments began to reopen businesses and parks.

The city of Madison is one of those local governments that is allowing places to reopen, including their parks.

“City of Madison parks are open to the public, we would like to encourage the social distancing and use caution on the common touch areas i.e. playgrounds etc.., the restrooms are currently closed at all city parks,” Madison Parks Foreman Mike McGillivray said.

The city of Sioux Falls has done a ‘partial’ reopening of their parks as the public can use them, but they aren’t open to organized sports.

Madison, however, has seen a low number of coronavirus cases, which is why they are allowing organized sports.

“If organizations want to practice at the city complexes they need to follow some rules that Park and Recreation Park created with help from the City of Madison Parks Department,” McGillivray said.

The next step is a chance to play games at the parks, which McGillivray says could be coming soon.

“The Park Board agreed to, if there isn’t an increase in positive COVID-19 cases to open the complexes to games on June 1, but that will still need City of Madison Commission approval to host games,” McGillivray said. “The Park Board is planning a May 12 meeting to discuss games and tournaments in-depth.”

As of Wednesday, Lake County has seen only four cases, all of which have recovered.

“If the city of Madison or surrounding area sees an increase in positive COVID-19 cases the city has the right to halt all activities at any time,” McGillivray said.

As the pandemic rolls on, the city officials in Madison will keep their focus on their citizens.

“City officials, City of Madison Park Board, several Associations, and City of Madison Parks Department have been in constant communication of what’s the best suited way to handle this situation. Unfortunately, we don’t have an exact solution on to handle this manner, but we are trying our utmost to let the Associations have a summer season, but with safety our #1 concern.”

Mike McGillivray- Parks Foreman, City of Madison

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