COLORADO SPRINGS — Outdoor public pools in Colorado Springs open this year with a very late start. "So, it's been months of conversation with the city, how to best open the pools, how to most safely open the pools," said YMCA Director of Marketing and Communications, Jenna Press. Swimming starts at Wilson Ranch pool and Monument Valley pool the last week of June because of COVID-19.
Outdoor pools owned by the City of Colorado Springs are run by the YMCA. To get pools open during the on-going pandemic threat, the two entities have collaborated on a safety plan.
Shared touch points like locker rooms present higher risk. It is why zip ties prevent anyone from using lockers, for now. "The locker rooms will be open for changing and you'll be able to rinse off in the shower before you enter the pool, but the locker rooms aren't going to be open as they traditionally are," said Press.
Lines painted on to the poolside grass create a grid to create social distancing. The number of people admitted is also mindful of social distancing. It will be well below capacity. Because of capacity restrictions there will be a series of 90-minute swimming sessions through the day. "People will show up, say at 10 o'clock-- they'll swim for an hour and a half and then after that hour and a half is up, we'll clean the pool." Staff will spend 30 minutes doing a deep clean between sessions.
After the pool area is cleared and cleaned, the next session starts at the pool entrance. "Anyone who's in line will enter the pool for the next time block," said Press. Swimmers from the previous session can go to the end of the line. If the count is less than capacity, they can join the next session. If not, they will have to wait in line for a later session. The intent of the system is to allow everyone an opportunity for time in the pool during restrictions.