VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia began to move into Phase Three on Wednesday.
Phase Three allows for businesses to open at a higher capacity and gatherings are now allowed to have a 250 people limit.
Despite being given the green light to reopen, Ocean Breeze Waterpark was informed Tuesday evening that slides will remain closed.
The water park says they were informed by the Virginia Department of Health that they made the decision to not allow water slides to open, under Phase Three guidelines. The water park says they were blindsided by the decision.
According to Ocean Breeze, their rides were inspected and cleared by the city to open. In May, the company detailed in a 40 page outline, their new operating plan with enhanced safety measures.
"There is no mention of this in the Governor’s Safer At Home Phase III Entertainment and Public Amusement, which water parks fall under. To be clear – this was a decision made at the state level. We have the complete support of health department officials in Virginia Beach. We have worked tirelessly all day to get this verdict immediately reversed – with no success," Brian Baker, General Manager of Ocean Breeze.
The water park says that most of the water slides are for individuals on inner tubes traveling through chlorinated water, which follows social distancing.
In the company's Facebook post addressing their concerns, the company mentions that the CDC says, "There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas."
Ocean Breeze addressed that beaches, playgrounds, and other activities are now open under Phase Three and that the company is stunned by VDH's decision.
News 3 reached out to the CEO of the park, however they declined to comment, as they are trying to be "diplomatic" with the Virginia health officials.
Ocean Breeze says the wave pool, Adventure River, activity pool, and Jungle Falls river will reopen Wednesday.
The tipping bucket and Little Amazon lazy river will also be open for children.
The water park says season passes will be extended into 2021 for the number of days slides will be closed.
Ocean Breeze Waterpark is set to reopen for 2020 season pass holders on Wednesday. The park will open for the public on July 7.