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Cold water was thrown on attempts to return to normal fun Tuesday when Huron-Clinton Metroparks closed the water recreation facility “Splash ‘N’ Blast” at  Kensington Metropark after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials said the test result was received late Monday.

“Ensuring the health and safety of park visitors and employees is always our top priority,” Amy McMillan, director of Huron-Clinton Metroparks, said in a media release. “That’s why we temporarily closed the Kensington splash pad to do a further deep cleaning and make this public notification as an added precaution on top of local, state and federal guidance.”

The employee last worked at the Milford facility July 23, McMillan said.

The staff member completed the health screening protocol upon arrival and wore a mask for an entire shift, she said.

The employee did not exhibit symptoms of the coronavirus.

The employee was tested Saturday after a friend tested positive, McMillan said, with the staff member's positive result reported by the Oakland County Health Department.

Six people, all Metroparks employees who worked in proximity of the infected employee, were immediately told to self-quarantine for 14 days, she said.

“Given the employee’s outdoor job duties at the water park, it is highly unlikely that any patron would have been considered in close, sustained contact,” McMillan said.

The Splash ‘N’ Blast opened in late June with capacity limits and operating adjustments, she said: Three sessions were capped at 50% capacity each day. Changes were made to the standing and seating areas. Social distancing requirements were enforced, and there was enhanced sanitation of high-touch areas and equipment.

“Metroparks is committed to communicating every step of the way and going above and beyond to help protect our visitors, team and communities against this virus,” McMillan said.

The park system includes 13 sites managed by the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

McMillan said Metroparks implemented numerous other COVID-19 measures to help assure public safety while keeping the parks open.

More information is available at Metroparks.com/covid.

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