Splashing in a pool is one of the activities that many look forward to in the summer months. In Monticello, worries over whether or not repairs would be completed in time, combined with restrictions due to COVID-19 had many wondering if the Timothy Chase Memorial Pool would be able to open at all this summer. In a stroke of luck, pool repairs have been completed just in time for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to issue directives for opening public pools. Opening day for the Chase pool is set for Saturday, May 30.
This summer, patrons can expect a different set of rules and regulations based on the directives set forth by the State. The guidelines are as follows:
• The number of people allowed in the facility is restricted to up to 50 percent of the approved bather load or capacity.
• Restrict pool access to fewer entrances as needed to control access and overcrowding.
• Maintain a log of persons entering the facility when possible for use in contact tracing should an outbreak occur.
• Screen employees for fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat or loss of taste or smell upon arrival for each shift, and exclude them from work if they are ill.
• Place signage regarding the COVID19 symptoms and exclusions at all entrances. These signs should inform patrons and staff that those who have any of the following characteristics should NOT be allowed to enter:
- Have had a fever of 100.4°F or greater in the last 2 days;
- Have a cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell;
- Had contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days
• Place signage at all entrances advising the public that they may wish to refrain from entering if
- They are 65 years of age or older.
- They have underlying health conditions including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, severe obesity, asthma or weakened immunity.
• Physical distancing of 6 feet should be maintained between people in all pool areas. However, family members may sit and enter the pool together.
• Physical distancing must be enforced at slides, diving boards, and other features that require waiting in line. Place markings on surface to maintain a 6-foot distance and monitor for compliance.
• The pool’s responsible party is required to maintain the safety of bathers by enforcing physical distancing of 6 feet.
• Tables, chairs, water fountains and other high touch surfaces should be disinfected frequently.
• Adjust poolside tables or chairs out so that seats are minimum of 6 feet from seats at adjacent tables.
• Household groups may sit closer together than 6 feet at tables.
• Maintain pool chemistry at the required levels. Test and document pH, free chlorine before opening and mid-afternoon to ensure proper residuals.
• Snack bars are permitted, but no self-service condiments or similar items are allowed.
At this time, the Splash Pad, located in Jordan Park, will not be opened due to an inability to enforce the directives set forth by the Sate, the Parks Commission stated during their May meeting. They will reassess the ability to open the Splash Pad at their June meeting Tuesday, June 2 at 6 p.m.
The City of Monticello has spent a total of $69,852.34 to repair the pool for future use after the pool was found to need major repairs. The liner from the pool has been installed but the City has not received the final bill as of Tuesday night.
“I am glad the Governor is allowing us to open up enough so we can use (the pool),” said Chase. “ We are going to do all the things we are suppose to do to stop the spread of the coronavirus. I hope that all citizens will help us with that by following the guidelines set fourth by the CDC and Arkansas Department of Health. I hope everyone will come and use the pool safely.”
The pool will be open every day from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., for parties from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Admission for persons 13 and older will be $5.00, ages 3-12 will be $3.00 and two and under is free.