Portland to keep pools closed, cancel camps due to virus

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Parks and Recreation will not open seasonal public swimming pools this summer, and is canceling all camps and activities because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Tuesday.

Parks, trails and nature areas remain open and park greeters will be there “to make sure people know how to use their park system safely during the pandemic,” The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

But other programs that families rely on — including outdoor camps, Summer Free For All and the Portland World Soccer Tournament — are canceled.

“We have had to layoff or not hire hundreds of valued seasonal employees,” Portland Parks and Recreation Director Adena Long said in a statement Tuesday, “your exercise instructors, swim teachers, camp counselors, and many other important PP&R team members. These employees are the heart of our programs, and they will be missed.”

“This is difficult news to share,” Long said, “and we will miss you this summer.”

Long added the department will focus its efforts this summer on urgent community needs, including the Lunch + Play program, which provides free lunch to Portland kids all summer.

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