Dear Quincy City Council,
In my letter to The Post-Register dated June 10, I implored the Quincy city council members and recreation director Russ Harrington to make a real effort to open our city pool at some point this summer. I reminded them the current situation was fluid and changes could come unexpectedly, and to be prepared in case of that eventuality. And guess what, that’s exactly what happened on the same day my letter was published. Inslee did an about face and decreed that pools across Washington State could be opened effective immediately! It is no longer necessary to wait for phase 3.
Yes, there are limitations. But opening at smaller capacity would help the city ease into operations and get procedures in place for when greater capacity is allowed. Swim classes are limited to five students, not much less than the usual amount and certainly better than none.
Floating ropes could be used to designate physical distancing areas. Swim time could be scheduled in advance. Pool users could sign waivers acknowledging they understand the facilities opening policies. So many possibilities!
There is no data that anyone has ever gotten coronavirus from a swimming pool. (UCLA Department of Epidemiology.) The outdoors is understood to pose less risk than indoors because of free air flow. Chlorine in most pools is enough to inactivate the virus should it exist there. Heat and sun are believed to be virus deterrents as well.
I have seen big box stores use a commonly found five-gallon sprayer to apply quantities of sanitizer quickly and efficiently. Perhaps the dressing rooms, bathrooms, and other large areas could be done in this manner.
A recent poll on the Facebook page Quincy Valley News asked if respondents felt our pool should open this summer. Out of 745 responses, 61% answered affirmatively.
Ok council members, the ball’s in your court.
Bonnie Schroeder, Quincy