The splash pad at the Virgil sports park is opening Monday, June 29, along with the pool in Memorial Park.
The St. Davids pool will not open this summer, says Kevin Turcotte, the town’s acting director of operations.
The provincial announcement last week of the stage two of reopening includes public pools and splash pads, which took effect in Niagara Friday, June 19.
“Town staff are looking forward to seeing residents and visitors utilize our town pool and splash pad again this summer,” says Turcotte in an announcement from the Town.
Only swimmers from the age of 13 and up will be able to swim in the pool at this time, says Turcotte, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. until noon, in individual lane swims.
Afternoons, from noon to 4 p.m., the pool is only available to kids who are registered in the day camp programs offered by the Town, with lane swims again from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
There are no lessons planned at this point, and also no open or family swims, says Turcotte, although they may be open for the future.
While this isn’t ideal, he says, “I can’t offer the full menu of programs. We’ll do a slow opening with lane swims, and open swims for day camps.”
The Town has been working with Public Health to reopen the pool and splash pad safely, he says, likely with no swimming lessons. It would be difficult to teach swimming strokes and help young children learn to swim while following physical distancing guidelines.
There is a possibility that could change during the summer, but there is also a possibility the programs could be reduced if the Province rolls back its reopenings, he says.
If all goes well, the pool could also open on weekends in August, he says, and could open for public swims, “but we’re not committing to that right now.”
A booking and payment system is expected to be online by Wednesday, June 24.
Public washrooms at Memorial Park will continue to be closed, although the change rooms and change room washrooms will be open to swimmers.
The Simcoe Park wading pool will remain closed “for the time being,” with the possibility of it opening at a later date.
The delay in opening the splash pad, which traditionally has been open early in June, is to allow the Town to put the necessary measures in place to meet public health guidelines for the health and safety of those using it, says Turcotte.
A staff member will be onsite ensuring rules and regulations are adhered to at all times, and encouraging appropriate physical distancing. Use of the splash pad will be permitted in 25-minute intervals, on the hour and half hour, each interval followed by five minutes of sanitization prior to the next use.
Space will be limited, and use will be given on a firstcome, first serve basis.
Other measures include a fence around the splash pad with a designated entrance and exit, signs will be posted around the splash pad area, reminding guests to maintain physical distance from those outside their group. The public washrooms by the splash pad will be open.