Cool For The Summer, City Pool Opens With Restrictions

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
The pool management staff has been working closely with city administration to develop a plan that will best protect the community from coronavirus transmission and still allow them to utilize the pool this summer.  The pool will open its doors Wednesday, June 3, in accordance with the reopening plans for Missouri set forth by the governor.  The pool will be open for daily swim Wednesday through Sunday.
For the month of June, the facility will be limited to 43 patrons and 7 lifeguards.  “This is tough because if we are close to capacity, we won’t be able to let large groups in if it will put us over 50 people, due to guidelines put in place for public safety,” assistant manager Dustin Roark said.  Headcount will be taken at the door, and patrons will be required to sign in on a sheet that will allow the staff to know each individual that has been in the facility.
The staff recognizes that this lower capacity may prevent the community from using the facility as much as they would like.  However, it is their hope the guidelines will change and allow for more patrons deeper into the summer. “We are going to keep a running count posted on the website updated every hour, as well as posting it on a sign outside of the facility.  The public can always contact us at 660-438-2199 to check our availability. We want to be as transparent with the community as possible during this time, we are all adjusting as best we can,” manager Taylor Bunch said.
The team has developed guidelines based on social distancing measures put in place by the state.  Patrons will be made aware of these guidelines as they enter the facility, and staff will enforce them.  Some of these include extra sanitization of equipment and surfaces, allowing patrons to eat outside of the concessions area to maintain social distancing, and marking off designated areas for patrons to remain at a safe distance from each other. “The big thing is limiting the amount of people in the facility and making sure those people keep their distance.  It isn’t idea, but it’s what we have to do to keep the pool open,” Roark said.
While the pool will be closed for open swim on Monday and Tuesday, the staff plans to make use of the facility by hosting more water aerobics classes.  Water aerobics will be taught Monday through Friday from 9-10 am and Tuesday and Thursday from 7-8 pm.  Extra lap swim hours have also been added to the schedule.  At this time, pool parties and swim lessons are not being scheduled.
Although conditions are challenging, the staff is confident the plan in place will best accommodate the community.  Pool administrator Jenn Bradshaw is remaining open to day-to-day adjustments. “The plan may change from June to July.  It may change from week to week.  We are doing our best to go with the flow,” Bradshaw said.
While management recognizes the risks posed by opening the pool, they also are cognizant of the important role the pool plays for the Warsaw community.  Bradshaw is remaining positive for opening day and a smooth transition into summer. “The situation with the virus may change every day.  We are confident that if we follow state and local recommendations for social distancing and sanitation, the pool will be able to safely accommodate as many patrons as possible,” Bradshaw said.
Bunch also emphasized the importance of the facility.  “The parents and kids in the community rely on this pool to be open in the summer.  There are kids who come every single day of the season.  They didn’t ask for this, and I can’t imagine what they would do all summer without it.  I think opening is the right choice, and we wouldn’t do it if we weren’t taking every precaution to keep people safe,” Bunch said.