Weston’s Memorial Pool – Will it or Won’t it? (open)
First and foremost, let’s cut to the chase. Memorial Pool WILL indeed open this summer after being shuttered last summer due to Covid-19. It may even open on its traditional timing which is usually the second weekend in June.
Chris Fitzgerald, Recreation Director, presented the plan at the February 9, 2021 Recreation Commission meeting, with the caveat that this is all based on the restrictions that are currently in place. Final plans will need the approval of the Weston Emergency Management Team. What we do know is that out of the water, all staff and visitors must wear masks and be physically distanced while not in their family group.
The Recreation Department is planning to mark off areas for families and households that allows individual groups to stay six feet apart. There will be directional arrows for walking around the pool–how you get into the pool is your own choice, though cannonballing the shallow end remains verboten.
Contact tracing and load management is still under discussion. Users will likely have to register in advance of each session–the how to register is the missing piece. Everyone’s admission will be logged and each will have to show a pass. No more reading off your address or making one up, folks. Rec may require guests to have a QR code so that contact details are known for tracing.
The pool will operate at reduced capacity – 40% of its normal load. Fortunately, the Weston pool area is huge–calculation of attendance allotment has to do with “bather load” and the ability to allow social distancing. The current guideline is 8 people per 1,000 square feet–you can see the pool from outer space so the guess is that that’s a lot of people. Final numbers will be calculated based on having reserved space for lifeguard breaks, storing equipment, etc. Chris Fitzgerald was optimistic that attendance limits will not be much affected.
The pool-provided lounge chairs will still be available but will be cleaned between uses. This means the pool will close down between sessions for 15 minutes for staff to get everything cleaned, and then re-open.
No pool equipment can be brought from home, including lounge furniture, toys, noodles, or any thing that can be thrown around or shared. The only exception is a Coast Guard-certified flotation device/life preserver which can be used if brought from home. Guess what?–your floatie Swan is not CG-certified. Check before you bring it in.
If there are Covid cases linked to pool, Board of Health guidelines will go into play. This may mean 24-hour closure and clean and disinfect.
Swim lessons will be offered with capacity limitations–there will be a maximum of four people per class and everyone must stay at least six feet apart in the water. Instructors will be able to be in the water–there are new face masks that are water-capable. Instructors will wear masks and visors–those swimming will not need to wear masks while in the water — which seems obvious to me since we definitely don’t encourage drowning. There will also be guidelines on “minimum touch” by the instructors –they can help guide an arm or leg through the water but this will be kept to a minimum.
Sample Schedule and Use Restrictions
There will be times set for open swim, family swim, maybe 60+ dedicated times. Pool sessions may be limited to 1 1/2-2 hour time slots but new guidelines are not clear yet. When Weston Recreation summer campers are at the pool, it will not be open for others.
Chris mentioned a sample schedule (don’t get crazy, Weston, this is just an example so don’t write your representative yet about the fact that your kid naps all afternoon, or you hate mornings or whatever)
8:15-9:45 adult lap swim
10-12:30 camp only.
12:45-2:15 60+ only,
2:30-4:30 open swim session I
4:45-6:45 open swim session II.
Badges and Entry Fees
A new resident asked about whether memberships would be sold this year. The traditional model (pre-Covid) was for recreation badges for full use or pool-only. The Rec Department may have to do something different this year. There might be a fee-per-use but it won’t be determined until the March Rec Commission meeting, or later.
For more detailed information, residents are encouraged to attend the March Recreation Commission meeting and to get on the town recreation listserv.