GALLIPOLIS — A familiar sign of summer reopens Monday, though visitors to the Gallipolis Municipal Pool will notice some changes inspired by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Gallipolis City Manager Ted Lozier said city officials worked on a reopening plan based on state guidelines and reviewed by the Gallia Health Department, in order to provide the popular, recreational activity.
The pool is open to everyone and is not limited to Gallia County residents. However, admission will be done on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limit of 100 people per session. The pool will have operating hours within two daily sessions. By having a morning and afternoon session for swimming, it will allow for a “deep cleaning” of the facility in mid afternoon.
Here’s how that will work:
Session One is Monday – Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. There is a half hour break where everyone is asked to leave the pool for a cleaning of the facility (ladders, restrooms, tables, etc.).
Session Two is Monday – Saturday, 2:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
On Sundays, Session One is noon to 2 p.m. and Session Two is 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Patrons must pay to re-enter the next session. However, Lozier said the city has lowered its admission rates as follows:
Children four and under, free with adult; youth ages 5-17, $2 per session; 18 and over, $3 per session.
Early morning swims for adults only is $1 admission and held from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m., Monday-Friday, there is no lifeguard on duty.
Water walkers, for adults only, is $1 admission, 5-6 p.m., Monday – Friday, no lifeguard on duty.
Water aerobics is $3 each session, 6-7 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.
Private pool parties are also available to be booked by calling Lori Reynolds at 740-446-1789, ex 626, or Brett Bostic at 740-446-6022. Lozier stressed the pool areas would be cleaned before and after any private parties.
Attendees to the pool can also expect the following:
Staff will be wearing appropriate face coverings and/or maintaining six-feet of social distance;
The pool will provide hand sanitizing materials in common areas for the public;
Areas in the grass will be marked to denote six-feet of social distance space;
The amount of available tables will be limited;
Snacks will be offered but will be prepacked;
Attendees will be required to sign a waiver that states they understand the rules and recommendations of social distancing and proper hygiene and they are asked to provide contact info which will be kept confidential. (This is done in case an outbreak of the virus is detected by someone who attended the pool, which allows for contact tracing and to alert others that could’ve been exposed.)
Operationally speaking, Lozier said the pool is ready for use this summer season, which could be extended compared to previous years, possibly into August. That extension would depend on the pool’s usage to keep it financially viable to stay open, and of course, any updated health guidelines.
He said the pool was offered as a recreational resource and activity for children and their families close to home, in a time when health and safety recommendations can limit opportunities.
“If the pool was taken away, it would be one less opportunity, and thing, (for people) to enjoy,” Lozier said, adding several requests to keep it open had been received at the municipal building.
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Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.