So much for a cool summer.

Two popular Oakland County waterparks, Red Oaks and Waterford Oaks, won't open this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakland County Parks and Recreation officials announced Thursday. 

Social distancing can't be achieved by swimmers in a wave pool or other water attractions, said Sue Wells, manager of Park and Recreation Operations, in a press release. The decision was made with input from the Oakland County Health Division.

“More importantly, we cannot guarantee the safety of our lifeguard staff which interacts very face-to-face and hands-on with swimmers who may be in distress,” Wells said. “Decisions like these are very difficult to make and counterintuitive to parks and recreation professionals who are in a social business. But the health and safety of our guests and staff remains our top priority.”

The two parks -- Red Oaks is in Madison Heights and Waterford Oaks is in Waterford -- typically draw 280,000 visitors a year. Guests who have already purchased 2020 Waterparks Season passes for either waterpark will be able to use their passes for the 2021 season.

Wells said lifeguards can't be made responsible for enforcing social distancing guidelines.

“Their job is to watch the water and save lives, not make sure people are staying 6 feet away from one another,” she said in a press release.

Read or Share this story: