by Tammy Showalter, Freelance Journalist

Chesapeake Beach, MD- June 18 brought good news for Calvert County residents after the resolution that was put out by Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, stating that the Chesapeake Beach Water Park could open on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at 25 percent capacity for residents in the city of Calvert only.

Chesapeake Beach Water Park general manager, Marilyn VanWagner said that she felt relieved.

The park generally opens on Memorial Day weekend.

“I feel so fortunate to work and live in a town where our mayor, Town Administrator, and our Town Council have put safety over revenues. This is a real gift for not only the town residents of Chesapeake Beach but for all residents of Calvert County. We’re more fortunate than many other water parks.”

VanWagner and the lifeguard staff had already completed the state-required direct person to person contact training in late winter before the Pandemic outbreak.

“Since that time our entire staff has worked to create and administer many mandatory  courses with exams relating to the pandemic,” she said, “and all the safety measures that are required to be put in place.”

VanWagner has created countless signs as reminders to assist employees and all county residents relating to the safety practices required because of the pandemic.

 “Our admissions window and the Beachcomber Grille already have glass enclosures to slow the spread,” VanWagner said, “but we also installed three clear plexiglass cashier shields in all three store windows to act as physical barriers to protect both our employees and guests from the spread [of the virus].”

VanWagner said they have partnered with their ecommerce ticketing merchants.

“Together we have developed a system for reservations and guest tracking that will allow us to not only track our capacity but assist us if any contact tracing is necessary.”

VanWagner spoke well of working with the local health department.

“It has been such a pleasure working with our local Calvert County Health Department as we have and will continue to navigate these unknown territories for this pandemic,” VanWagner said,  “Their response time has been rapid and so much appreciated.”

The pandemic does bring cautious concernment to the forefront, however.

VanWagner wants to remind the public that if they are not feeling well or are in a high-risk category, to please stay home.

“Our entire staff is working diligently to make this the best guest experience for all of our county residents,” she said. “Parents, please help the lifeguards to effectively practice social distancing requirements in the water; it is very difficult for our lifeguards to know who is from the same household. Most importantly, please be patient with our staff. Our dress rehearsal has been intense, but we all know that after the first performance, there is always some necessary fine-tuning.”

With 80 percent of the 200 team members being 16 years of age or younger, and most starting their first jobs ever, it won’t be flawless VanWagner stated.

 “I would like to share one of my favorite quotes with you from one of the greatest coaches ever, Vince Lombardi.” VanWagner said.

 “Perfection is not attainable but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”