Families flock to Splash Kingdom in Nacogdoches as park reopens with COVID-19 restrictions

Families flock to Splash Kingdom in Nacogdoches as park reopens with COVID-19 restrictions
GF Default - Splash Kingdom Community Events

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Waterparks in Texas were allowed to open starting Friday, and families in Nacogdoches didn’t waste any time getting back into the water.

WEBXTRA: Families flock to Splash Kingdom in Nacogdoches as park reopens with COVID-19 restrictions

Waterparks, including Splash Kingdom in Nacogdoches, opened to patrons just six days after the traditional start-up on the Saturday before Memorial Day.

The delay was nerve-wracking for water lover Stella Johnson, who turns 10 in two days. She wants you to know she turns 10 in two days.

Families flock to Splash Kingdom in Nacogdoches as park reopens with COVID-19 restrictions

“I was scared we weren’t going to do anything this summer. Like we would just stay in the house in quarantine.” Stella said. Then she opened her arms and gleefully added, “But, we’re at the waterpark and I was really excited.”

About 200 other patrons were at the park as well.

“We are currently under 25-percent occupancy,” assured Carlie Allen, the guest relations manager for Splash Kingdom.

It’s the governor’s order. So is lots of cleaning on places that little hands can touch.

"Ticket windows, bathrooms, anything like that that kids have touched in the last 30 minutes we make sure that they're all clean," said a masked employee armed with sanitizer.

There is also a CDC statement posted.

“The CDC has said that there’s no evidence that the virus can be spread through treated water,” Allen said.

The CDC website instructs waterpark operators to consult with local health officials on chlorination guidelines and treatment. It advises patrons to visit parks close to their home, don’t wear masks in the water, avoid crowded parks, and most of all, practice social distancing.

Bonnie Murphy was comfortable bringing herself and child to the water park.

“I’m a nurse, and my big thing is the kids need to get out and have some fun and be with their friends. I mean, as long as you’re careful, and you do all the stuff you need to do, it should be fine.”

With four small children, Shelby Firmin relies on waterparks for summer entertainment.

“My husband is a health care worker, so we’ve been going through it," Firmin said. "And we’re just being smart. We try not to be scared.”

Kristin Mills, another patron, has resolved herself to have outdoor fun.

“We got to build up immunity," Mills said. "We can’t stay locked up in the house.”

Stella will avoid being cooped this summer. Her family has waterpark season passes.

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