(BLOOMINGTON) – The Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department today announced that its two outdoor pools will remain closed for the summer in order to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19.
Numerous factors contributed to the difficult decision, including the challenges these facilities present in implementing physical distancing and other safety guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Monroe County Health Department to limit the spread of COVID-19. An additional factor in the decision was the closure of indoor pool facilities where lifeguards and other aquatic facility personnel are normally trained during the spring season to operate the pools.
“We have been managing the effects of COVID-19 in every facet of our Parks and Recreation Department’s programs, events, and facilities since early March. Even then, we started planning in the hopes of opening two of our city’s most popular summer destinations: Bryan Park Pool and Mills Pool,” said Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department Administrator Paula McDevitt. “After consulting with our state and national associations, and researching public health recommendations, we came to the difficult conclusion that, in the grand scheme of our responsibilities, keeping the pools closed is the right decision for the community.”
City parks and trails have remained open throughout the pandemic, with the city encouraging visitors to follow guidelines intended to slow the spread of COVID-19: maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet from other people, staying home if showing symptoms, and practicing good personal hygiene.
“While we are disappointed to have to keep our outdoor pools closed this season, we are excited to announce that the new spray pad at Switchyard Park is slated to open later in June,” McDevitt said.
The spray pad at Switchyard Park, located near the Pavilion at 1601 S. Rogers St., is a system of nearly 90 nozzles and misters that spray water into the air. Visitors of all abilities may interact with the water streams as they choose. The water in the chlorinated system is treated just as it is in swimming pools. Benches on each side of the spray pad provide convenient seating. A building with six all-gender restrooms/changing rooms nearby will open at the same time as the spray pad. COVID-19 safety recommendations for physical distancing and maximum occupancy, as well as the regular rules of conduct for City parks, will be in place at the spray pad.
For more information about Bryan Park Pool or Mills Pool, contact John Turnbull, Bloomington Parks, and Recreation Sports Division Director, at 812-349-3712 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Switchyard Park and the spray pad, contact Hsiung Marler, Switchyard Park General Manager, at 812-349-3961 or email@example.com.