The weather is getting warmer and municipal swimming pools around the country are planning to reopen. But as the number of Coronavirus cases keep rising in Arizona, some parents and municipal employees want to make sure the pools open safely.
Prescott Valley’s swimming pool staff is making preparations to open on May 23rd and they are trying to be safe yet practical about their health concerns. Luckily, the CDC says you cannot get the Coronavirus from swimming in a pool.
“We will be following CDC and the Arizona Governor’s guidelines that will include social distancing, daily temperature reading for staff, temperature readings for admission based attendees, and reduced participation levels in aquatic activities,” said Brian Witty, Director of Parks and Recreation for Prescott Valley.
The pool, known as the Mountain Valley Splash has a large pool that hosts swim races, smaller areas for little kids, a large water slide and concession stand.
Chris Edwards is a Prescott Valley parent who has concerns about public swimming pools in general. “If you’re sick please don’t go to the pool. Otherwise, use plenty of sunscreen, regular and basic hygiene, Covid guidelines, and have a good time this summer,” he said.
“We’re posting signs at the entrance so that if you feel sick, you should go home,” said Witty. “We will be eliminating some aquatic activities so as to limit traveling for events, such as swim meets, to prevent mixing of individuals from different geographical locations.”
Witty is initiating other safeguards like providing additional space between deck loungers to allow for appropriate physical distancing, enhancing sanitization of loungers, tables, and other deck items, sanitizing service areas and break rooms, advising those wearing face coverings to not wear them in the water as cloth face coverings can be difficult to breathe through when they’re wet, and posting signs advising customers of expectations and guidance.
The pool employs lifeguards and shift managers.
“Our staff will continue to practice healthy behaviors striving to staying at least six feet away from others and encouraging them to wear face coverings whenever physical distancing may not be feasible,” said Witty.
Witty also said they should not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth; cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow; wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not available; limit community sharing of office supplies, gatherings in common spaces such as break rooms, and remain diligent with cleaning protocols.
“We will not be hosting passes for the 2020 season so as to limit common touch points,” he concluded.