Mid-Ohio Valley pools look to pandemic safety guidelines as they prepare to reopen
ST. MARYS — Since Gov. Jim Justice announced pools can reopen this weekend, a few area pools are in the process of opening for the season while others will remain closed.
After much consideration with the Doddridge County Parks Commission, the decision was made to stay closed for the summer.
Greg Cottrill, director of Doddridge County Parks and Recreation, said although he’s sad that this is the first year since 1987 the pool won’t be open, “it just wasn’t feasible to be able to enforce all the regulations and meet all the guidelines and be open,” he said.
According to the state reopening plan outlined on Gov. Justice’s website, occupancy will be limited in order to maintain social distancing.
It also requires the adjustment of a deck layout and to restrict certain areas of the pool so that families can be at least 6 feet apart.
Physical barriers will need to be installed such as lines on the pool and surrounding the chairs to ensure social distancing in and out of the water.
The site said patrons should be encouraged to bring their own towels and other needed items but they should not be sharing those items like goggles or swim toys.
Touch points will be regularly sanitized and employees and all customers will be screened before entry, along with further cleaning and personal protection equipment protocols.
The Pleasants County Pool/Aquatic Center is preparing for its reopening. According to Tyler Satterfield, manager, it will follow all guidelines from Gov. Justice and the CDC.
“Everybody wants to get back to normal, but obviously we realize there’s a pandemic going on. We just want to refer to the governor’s guidelines (and) we just want to make sure we follow them,” Satterfield said. “This has always been a great asset to our community and the surrounding communities.”
Although they have no set opening date, Satterfield, also a second grade teacher, said he’s excited to see some of his students.
“I want to see some of my kids up here, I miss my kiddos. Everybody wants to get back to normal but we want to do it as safely as possible,” he said.
Ravenswood City Pool will open on June 15, according to its Facebook page.
Dupont Employee Recreation Park is also planning to open their pool but they don’t currently have a set date.
The status of Southwood and City Park Pools is still under deliberation with an announcement coming later this week, according to Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce.
A plan is in the works to safely reopen in accordance with the health department and the pool contractor, Joyce said.
“The singular goal is to make sure any operation of the pools is done in a manner to protect the patrons, staff and most importantly the public as a whole,” Joyce said.
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