Virus Outbreak Minnesota Protests

A sign demanding Gov. Tim Walz not to ban people from golfing is held through a sunroof during a “Liberate Minnesota” protest in St. Paul, Minn., on Friday, April 17, 2020.

Missing out on practicing your golf swing or putting during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?

That will no longer be a problem.

Golf courses in Howard County were able to reopen Saturday, the Howard County commissioners announced Friday. Courses will have to follow certain guidelines aimed at lowering the risk of spreading COVID-19. The guidelines are:

Walking only. No carts are permitted except for use by golfers who require an accommodation. If an accommodation is made, every effort to ensure no more than one golfer per cart is allowed.

  • Any cart used should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between uses.
  • No rakes.
  • No seed bottles.
  • Ball washers should be covered to prevent use.
  • No flagsticks.
  • Players are to stay at least 6 feet (two club lengths) away from playing partners at all times.
  • Clubhouses and restrooms shall be closed to the public. No gatherings in the parking lot.
  • All practice ranges and practice greens shall be closed.
  • No food or beverage service.
  • Cups should be turned upside or otherwise positioned so that golfers do not need to reach inside the cup.
  • Payment for rounds shall be electronic only.
  • Pushcarts may be used but only those owned by the golfer using it. No rentals.
  • Golfers should not be allowed to congregate on the course.
  • Tee times shall be separated by 10 minutes.

Friday’s announcement is now the third iteration within the past week of the county loosening its previous restrictions on local businesses.

Commissioner Paul Wyman and local medical officials announced Thursday that effective at 5 p.m. today, Sunday, April 19, retail businesses previously deemed “nonessential” will be able to open for curbside pickup and delivery, granted they follow social distancing and sanitation guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.

The county also announced Thursday it is allowing places of worship to hold drive-in or parking lot services, as long as they cooperate with social distancing guidelines as well.

Early last week, businesses deemed to be “low risk,” such as car washes, pet groomers, florists, bike and computer repair businesses and lawn care/landscaping businesses, were permitted to reopen as long as they, too, follow certain guidelines.

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich

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