Swimming pools to reopen with social distancing amid COVID-19

Published: May. 20, 2020 at 9:36 PM CDT
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Pool boards are dipping their toes into the idea of opening swimming pools during the pandemic.

One Sauk County community is preparing for the return of swimmers this holiday weekend.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer and usually marks the start of pool season in Wisconsin.

But taking a dip during the pandemic also means testing the limits of social distancing.

The Reedsburg public pool reopens Saturday actually a few weeks earlier than usual.

"With everything being cancelled it'd be nice for them to get out of the house and get moving," Matt Scott, Reedsburg Parks and Recreation Director.

But parks officials said doing so safely is his top priority.

"It's going to start from the second you get out your car," Scott said.

Scott said staff members will filter people in to keep track of capacity and there won't be any pool chairs on the deck for social distancing.

"It's going to be sanitized every day before it opens and every two hours they'll go through and sanitize heavy traffic areas," he said. “People are buying passes and hoping to get to the swimming pools soon."

Every community is handling opening pools differently.

Gary Hartung is the president of High Point Swim Club in Madison.

He sent out a survey on Sunday to members to help plan for the summer. The results showed nearly 70 percent plan to be back in the pool when it opens.

“This isn't for ourselves or the parents, it's really about the kids," he said.

Hartung said families will have to sign up for swimming time slots to use the pool to keep a handle on social distancing and capacity limits.

"We just have to fill it water. It's all of the things we have to do around the pool to make it a safe environment," he said.

The pool at high point is set to open in mid-June.