Pools get the go-ahead to reopen -- with a lot of guidelines

But some in the Miami Valley will remain closed this summer.

Pools get the go-ahead to reopen -- with a lot of guidelines

CENTERVILLE — Tuesday was the first day pools were allowed re-open across the state under Gov. Mike DeWine’s Restarting Ohio plan.

Although many pools in the Miami Valley are not open yet, some such as Wilson Park Pool in West Carrollton and Cassel Hills Pool in Vandalia will stay closed for the 2020 season. The city of Kettering has said its pools will remain closed until further notice.

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News Center 7’s John Bedell went to Centerville on Tuesday to see how things will look when one swim club welcomes back its members this week.

Pleasant Hill Swim Club usually opens the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. Not this year. The pandemic means Opening Day has been pushed back to Saturday, May 30.

“Due to the fact that we didn’t know when pools were ever going to open, it gave us about a two-week behind time,” Pleasant Hill Pool Manager Dave Leedy said. “So in that time we’ve done repairs to the pool, now we filled it two days ago and are in the process of clearing the water and getting it chemically set.”

Crews from Select Signs in Dayton were on the grounds, posting signs they made for the grounds that explain social distancing rules. There are 6-foot spacers on the concrete walkways for lines and there are markers indicating the one-way into and one-way out of the property.

There will also be capacity limits for the 4-acre property as a whole and for the pool.

“Probably about 175 (in the water at one time),” Leedy said. “And maybe 200 between the deck and the water.”

Tables and chairs will be set 6 feet apart to meet social distancing guidelines and lounging lawn chairs will be set out in pairs s6 feet apart. Chairs will be cleaned daily. “We’ll use paper towels,” said Leedy. “ ‘Rags in a bag’ they’re called,” he said. “So we don’t keep anything. We don’t use sponges.”

In the pool business, you deal with public health officials and inspectors regularly. Leedy said he’s been in touch with his usual contacts at Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County about the reopen.

“I talked to them of what is expected,” Leedy said. “So we’re compliant along that way to the best of our ability.”

Leedy told WHIO-TV an inspector from PHDMC will be coming to Pleasant Hill Swim Club on Thursday for their annual opening inspection. After that, Leedy said, they’ll be back “about every two weeks after that” throughout the summer.

Leedy said he’s also talked to managers he knows at other local pools from his years in the business. "Woodhaven, Black Oak is over here and Oak Creek and we’re all trying to follow the same guidelines and present a safe image for people to still come and enjoy the pool,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic means all kinds of changes for the 2020 season at Pleasant Hill and pools across the area. But Leedy says he’s ready – and excited about spending another summer at work poolside.

“I’ve been doing this since I was 15. I’ll be 76 in July," he said. "I’ve been a pool man every summer.”

One other change at Pleasant Hill this summer affects the Pleasant Hill Swim Club “Fighting Fish.” Leedy said the league the club team competes in, The Suburban Swim Association, or SSA, has decided teams can still practice with social distancing measures in place, but there will be no league swim meets this summer.

The SSA is comprised of 12 teams from clubs primarily in Dayton’s south suburbs in communities such as Kettering, Centerville, Washington and Sugarcreek Townships, Springboro and Beavercreek.

For the full list of guidelines for pools and other summer activities, read below.

Public pools and community pools regulated under the Ohio Department of Health can reopen May 26. Water parks and amusement parks aren’t included, as they aren’t under the oversight of the ODH. Guidelines they must follow:

  • Install physical barriers (for example, lane lines in the water or chairs and tables on the deck) and visual cues (for example, tape on the decks, floors, or sidewalks) and signs to ensure that staff, patrons, and swimmers stay at least six feet apart from those they don’t live with, both in and out of the water.
  • Discourage or prohibit shared objects including goggles, nose clips, and snorkels.
  • Close any non-essential areas where people could potentially congregate.
  • Any food service must be run in accordance with current orders and guidelines for such establishments, found in Responsible Restart Ohio for Restaurants and Bars.
  • Develop and implement a reduced maximum capacity to allow 6-feet of distance between users. The formula for capacity should consider the available deck area as well as the pool surface area, as often one is greater than the other. If water surface area is smaller than deck area, an additional limit of swimmers/pool occupants should be implemented to ensure proper social distancing.
  • Develop revised deck layouts in the standing and seating areas so individuals can remain at least 6 feet apart from others.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted has cited a CDC report that concludes there is no evidence COVID-19 can spread to people through water in pools, hot tubs, spas or water play areas. The water is disinfected with chlorine/bromine and should kill the virus.

Campgrounds reopened May 21 and must comply with the following:

  • Close any non-essential buildings or amenities including pools, splash pads, playgrounds, game rooms, go-karts, basketball and volleyball
  • Snack bars and restaurants must run in accordance with statewide guidelines
  • Social distancing must be practiced at camper filling and dump stations. Pumps should be sanitized each day
  • Non-registered campus not allowed to visit campsite
  • Only one family household can occupy each site
  • The full order can be viewed here.

Summer day camps can open May 31. Husted has said additional details would be released by May 29.