The Chattahoochee valley prepares for summer

Published: May. 25, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - This is the first full week kids in Muscogee County are out of school for the summer.

Many others are wrapping up their final days of classes this week.

With loosened COVID restrictions, many families are planning to enjoy summer activities over the next few months they might not have been able to do last year.

“It’s not really summer yet, but it feels like summer. It’s in the 90s so we’re ready for summer,” said Columbus resident, Beth Russell.

Russell says she’s feeling much safer and optimistic heading into this summer than she did last year.

“Last summer we were, we were just unsure about whether camps would be open, whether camps would stay open and this year I think the plans for the children are set and everybody feels real hopeful nothing’s going to change,” Russell explained.

Last year at this time - Columbus had a little less than 500 COVID-19 cases and 17 coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

One year later, and Pamela Kirkland with the Columbus Health Department says Muscogee County is almost at 15,000 cases and more than 400 COVID deaths since Columbus reported its first case in March 2020.

“Big jump between last year and this year. Right now, were seeing an uptick in cases again. Could be because school has just gotten out. A lot of variables go into that,” said Kirkland.

Columbus saw spikes in COVID cases around the summer holidays last year.

“I’d like to think that because we’ve been in this for more than a year now that most of us have been exposed to COVID-19 or have had it and recovered or have been vaccinated so I’m hoping that our numbers this summer won’t be as high as they were last summer,” explained Kirkland.

Russell says their family has a lot more summer plans this year compared to last year.

“My son and his family are going to Disney. Yeah, a lot more plans like that this summer,” beamed Russell.

Columbus Parks and Rec will be opening Double Churches and Rigdon Park Pools May 26.

They will be open Wednesday through Sunday each week with a limited number of people in the pool.

Summer camp will be held at three locations: Shirley Winston rec center, Psalmond Road rec center and Tillis Gym.

Other facilities opening include all parks, playgrounds, recreation and senior citizens facilities.

There will be a full list of what Columbus Parks and Rec will have open this summer available on our website.

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