The pool opened on June 5, 2020, when the Yellow Phase was implemented in Southeastern Pennsylvania. According to Swim Club Manager Nick D’Orazio, this recreational pool is operating at only 60-percent membership capacity and there is a waitlist for the 2020 season.
“That’s by choice. That was from member feedback. We weren’t mandated to do that, but we’re gonna keep it under 100-percent capacity all summer,” says D’Orazio.
There are no mandated requirements for pools to open like limiting the number of people in the water or in the pool area. However, Governor Wolf is requiring all pools that wish to open follow The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for aquatic venues.
Among the long list of guidelines published by the CDC is to encourage the use of face coverings “as feasible.” This swim club, however, is not mandating members to wear them on the pool deck.
“We’re really only enforcing the mask policy in the locker rooms and in the snack bar,” D’Orazio says.
The snack bar, which would usually be filled with tables and chairs, has been converted to take-out only to ensure people can keep a safe distance from others.
D’Orazio says the staff is committed to sanitizing frequently touched surfaces, which is also in the guidelines put forth by the CDC.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic forced a late start to the pool season, long-time member Nancy McDonald is excited to be back swimming laps, but also voiced concern.
“It’s unnerving also because you’re, you know, also opening yourself up to a big public space with other people and all that other stuff,” McDonald says.
Debbie Rodgers has been a member here for over thirty years and says she looked forward to her tradition of spending Memorial Day Weekend. However, the pandemic shattered that plan this year.
“We’re usually the first ones here on Memorial Day, Saturday […] I didn’t feel like this day would come but I can’t tell you how delighted I was when the pool opened and we could start doing lap swimming again.”
According to the CDC, “There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of recreational waters.” However, they recommend social distancing in the water to protect yourself from the virus.