SOUTHINGTON â€“ Although stormy weather kept some away, Southingtonâ€™s pools still saw people lining up to take a dip when they reopened for the season this past weekend.
David Lapreay, director of recreation, said that the pools opened with a maximum capacity of 50 people on June 27. At points, the pools had 30 to 40 people swimming in them, coming and going over the course of the days.
â€śWe had no issues at all with people following distancing requirements,â€ť said Lapreay. â€śPeople checked in at the designated spots and were good while they were there. On both days, the pools opened at 11 a.m. and had 15 to 20 people waiting in line to use them.â€ť
Lapreay pointed out that, unlike the neighboring town of Plainville, people do not have to call ahead and reserve a time slot to use local pools. Use of the pools is on a first-come, first-served basis during open hours. However, like Plainville, they are currently reserved for residents only, who must present ID upon arriving. The pools are free for residents to use.
Despite the restrictions that have been put into place, Lapreay said that residents are happy to have access to them this summer, especially after several days last week which were 90 degrees or hotter.
â€śWithout a doubt, theyâ€™re happy we opened up,â€ť he said. â€śWe are hoping that we can get through the summer with no issues and weâ€™ll continue to monitor things closely as we move ahead. We are in regular contact with Shane Lockwood, the director of the Plainville-Southington Regional Health District, and we will adjust as we move through the phases of the stateâ€™s re-opening.â€ť
Southingtonâ€™s pools are open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 to 8 p.m. on the weekends.
Residents should stay home and not come to the pool if they do not feel well. All patrons are required to wear a face covering while interacting with pool staff at the check-in station. Face coverings are required when entering the pool facility or interacting in close proximity to other patrons. Face coverings should be removed when the possibility exists of getting wet.
Pool users must maintain six feet or more distance between individuals in all areas of the pool and the pool deck. They should use marked out areas on the pool decks for sitting. Smaller groups should go to areas with the smaller box markings.
No gatherings in groups of different households are permitted. Swimmers and patrons should not block walkways, pool entrances or narrow passage areas. Sharing of personal equipment such as goggles or flotation devices or pool toys is not permitted.
People are encouraged to wash their hands often, for at least 20 seconds, and practice good hygiene.
Recreation Park Pool is located at 25 Maxwell Noble Drive in Plantsville. The full-sized pool and wading pool are open but the umbrella/mushroom feature in the wading pool will not be turned on this season.
Veterans Memorial Park Pool and the splash pad are located at 776 Woodruff St. The splash pad will remain closed.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.