Shawnee County pools waiting until late June to open to the public

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – As we inch closer to summer, pools in some counties are preparing to open, while others have decided not to open at all.

At this time of year, employees at pools in Shawnee County would normally be gearing up for memorial day, which marks the beginning of pool season.

Carissa Hand babysits and said the kids are looking foward to some fun in the sun.

“Every five minutes junior is like ‘Oh, can we go swimming? I wish it was open’. So, it’d give us a wide variety of things to do,” said Hand.

But because of the pandemic, opening day has been pushed back. Under the governor’s reopening plan, pools will have to wait until at least June 8 to open and gatherings would be limited to 45 people. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual counties on whether they will implement more restrictions during each phase.

But, Shawnee County Parks and Recreation has decided to push their opening day back even further.

“June 22 is when we’re going to open up the facility to the regular patrons coming in,” said Aquatics Supervisor David Allacher. “That way people can enjoy themselves more and we’re not busy trying to tell people to stay apart.”

While they don’t plan on opening until late June, aquatic fitness classes, swim lessons and splash pads in Shawnee County will be open starting June 8.

June 22nd is when Kansas would phase out and all restrictions would be lifted.

But, Allacher said they’ll still be taking extra safety precautions.

“We’re going the extra mile before we open and we’ll disinfect the whole facility,” said Allacher. “We’ll also disinfect the facility before we close. Bathrooms will be hit about every 30 minutes.”

They’ll also be taking safety breaks every hour so the staff can clean all the metal surfaces from the slides to the diving boards and lounge chairs.

Hand said when the pools do open their doors, she and the kids will be ready.

“We’ll just be happy to get out and do something different, while still staying safe as well,” said Hand.

According to the CDC, there is currently no evidence that the virus can spread through water in pools, hot tubs or water play areas because of the disinfectants used to clean the water.

However, the concern about the virus spreading at these places has more to do with the amount of people that would be coming in and the constant touching of surfaces around the pool.

You can find Shawnee County’s updated opening schedule HERE.

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