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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, May 21, 2020 1 month ago

Island H2O Live! Water Park reopens Saturday, May 23

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The Kissimmee water park will implement a number of changes as it reopens this weekend.
by: Michael Eng Editor and Publisher

Island H2O Live! Water Park in Kissimmee will reopen Saturday, May 23, officials announced today.

As required, Island H2O Water Park submitted a reopening plan to the state that included a proposed date for resumption of operations and proposed guidelines to ensure guest and staff safety. 

“We are excited to reopen and provide an entertaining break from the day-to-day world,” Island H2O Water Park General Manager Jim Kunau said. “We look forward to providing wonderful memories for our guests and their families. Our entire team has been working hard to prepare the park and welcome our guests back.”

Island H2O Water Park is implementing new Safe-Splash Guidelines to continue delivering a great guest experience while ensuring the park operates safely, responsibly and sustainably. Those include: 

• Managing park capacity. The number of guests admitted each day is limited. Guests who arrive after park capacity is reached are not guaranteed admittance to the park and may be asked to wait or visit on a different day. 

• Implement daily wellness checks. Team members and guests undergo a verbal screening upon arrival each day. Team members also receive a temperature check and are sent home if their temperature exceeds 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Require face masks. Team members are required to wear a face covering in virtually every area of the park. Between rides and attractions, guests are recommended to wear face coverings. Because of safety constraints, face coverings are not permitted while in the water or on slides.

• Practice social distancing. Signs and ground markers are provided to assist guests with social-distancing practices while in line at the park entrance, attractions, restrooms, food service locations and more. Deck layouts are modified to ensure distancing in all lounging and dining areas. 

• Promote hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Additional hand-sanitizing stations are placed throughout the park, and signs are displayed to encourage all employees and guests to wash their hands often and cover their coughs and sneezes.

• Clean, disinfect and sanitize on a continuous basis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, disinfection with chlorine should inactivate the virus in the water. The water in all attractions at Island H2O Water Park is double-treated with chlorination and ultraviolet light to maintain the healthiest water conditions. All water that circulates through the water park is exposed to UV light in the filtration process. UV light works by disrupting the DNA or RNA of specific organisms, such as viruses, which in turn, kills or inactivates the virus completely. Team members are assigned additional duties that support cleanliness throughout the park, including disinfection of handrails, loungers, tabletops, tubes, mats, door handles and other surfaces.  

• Encourage electronic payments. Guests are encouraged to purchase admission tickets online prior to arriving at the park to minimize interactions during the park entry experience. Guests are also encouraged to use cashless payment methods while visiting.

• Manage use of indoor areas and communal spaces. Homeland Security’s biodefense research laboratory states, “sunlight seems to be very detrimental to the virus,” and “within minutes, the majority of the virus is inactivated on surfaces and in the air in direct sunlight.” Our guests spend their entire day outdoors in the sunshine or in shaded areas, except for restroom buildings and other minor service areas which are disinfected regularly throughout the day. 

Provide a COVID-19 Response Team. A team of supervisors and managers is available to respond to COVID-19 concerns from guests or employees. The team trains staff on all safety protocols and ensures that they are socially distanced during meetings and trainings. 

“The health, safety, and well-being of every guest and team member is our utmost priority," Kunau said. “To ensure the safest experience for everyone, we also need our guests to help by adhering to social-distancing practices, washing and sanitizing hands frequently, and following safety guidelines provided by our trained staff.”

The park will continue to coordinate with local, state and federal agencies as well as public health officials and is prepared to make any and all adjustments as necessary, now and after re-opening, to maintain the highest standards of health and safety for all.

A complete list of all health and safety measures can be found at islandh2olive.com.

Island H2O Live is located at 3230 Inspiration Drive, Kissimmee.

Michael Eng is the editor and publisher for the West Orange Times & Observer, West Orange Observer, Baldwin Park Living magazine and OrangeObserver.com. He is a 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri — Columbia School of Journalism....

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