Parks and recreation director reflects on COVID-free, fall sports season

Osceola Parks and Recreation did not want to “strike out” on fall sports this year.

Fall sports in Osceola end with few COVID-19 cases

OSCEOLA, Ark. (KAIT) - Osceola Parks and Recreation allowed fall sports to commence this year despite the ongoing pandemic.

When the pandemic first began, OPAR director Michael Ephlin was worried about fall sports “not being an option” this year.

The OPAR Committee met and decided to still give people the choice to sign up.

After a large number of sign-ups, Ephlin and the OPAR Committee began to make changes to operations.

There were sanitizing stations, consistent restroom cleaning, and social distancing was enforced at the minimum contact concession stand.

Ephlin made sure every player, coach, and spectator followed guidelines to ensure that there will not be an outbreak of the virus at the sports complex.

He says things ran smoothly without incident.

“We went by the rules that were handed down,” Ephlin said. “We did not have problem with people wearing a mask. As far as the teams went, the kids did really well with wearing masks in, they took them off when they played, a lot of them wore them out. Sometimes, you do have to remind a child because they just don’t understand a lot of times the seriousness in it, but I just think that everything went as good is we expected it to.”

Ephlin believes being outdoors “made a difference” in lowering the spread of the virus.

Copyright 2020 KAIT. All rights reserved.