With more than 25 outdoor tennis courts, and Courts Plus earning the United States Tennis Association’s outstanding facility award, it’s no secret that Elmhurst is a tennis community. But in late March, as the temperature warmed up and people flocked to the parks, many looked to the Elmhurst Park District to take action to protect against people defying the stay-at-home order and congregating in parks. As a result, and with the health and safety of residents in mind, tennis courts, along with other park amenities, were locked.
Over the last few weeks, the District has received a handful of requests to reopen the tennis courts. While taking those requests into consideration, guidance was sought from both the District’s legal counsel and the Park District Risk Management Agency, an intergovernmental risk pool that provides insurance coverage to the Elmhurst Park District.
“Ultimately we were advised that, unlike golf, the stay-at-home order doesn’t specifically call for tennis courts to be open,” said Executive Director Jim Rogers, “We’re excited to reopen the courts and understand the desire to get back out there and play, but we plan to operate in accordance with the recommendations of state officials and the CDC and wait until the stay-at-home order is lifted. We take our responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19 seriously. The safety and well-being of our residents remains our highest priority as we to seek a return to normalcy in the future.”
The District anticipates reopening the courts when the Northeast Region of Illinois, which includes Elmhurst, enters Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan – projected for the end of May. At that time, outdoor recreation, including activities in groups of 10 or fewer with social distancing will be permitted. These reopenings will include tennis courts and the District's first dedicated pickle ball courts, located in Crestview Park. However, the public will be required to abide by social distancing and sanitation guidelines and take all necessary precautions.