After a full three-month closure, mandated by COVID-19 circumstances, the Lake County Aquatic Center reopened on Monday, June 15 at 6 a.m. to a handful of happy lap swimmers.
Jamie Graham was the first patron in the building, followed closely by three others.
Current public health orders will allow up to 10 people in the pool area at one time, including two staffers to maintain the new sanitizing requirements. Those people must maintain a minimum distance of six feet. There are five lanes dedicated to lap swimming, one to water running or water aerobics, and two areas in the deep end for water jogging or other exercise.
“We tried to get the word out that we are open again, but we have yet to see more than four people in the water at one time,” Aquatics Coordinator Judy Green said. “We followed the example of a similar-sized pool in Meeker, and decided not to set up a reservation system, but I think the first-come, first-serve approach may be scaring some folks away. So far no one has had to wait for a single minute.”
The hours currently being offered for lap swimming and water walking are from 6-10 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 7-11 a.m. on Saturdays, plus 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. “If you do the math with eight swimmers per hour, that is 352 swim hours a week,” said Green. “But we only had about 72 last week.”
“Looking at past usage patterns, we decided to close Saturday afternoons and Sundays, which tend to be family days,” says Green. “Unfortunately, those folks may have to wait a bit until restrictions ease, or we come up with a plan that gets approved through public health. We hope to move into the phase two (blue) of our reopening plan which would allow for some family swim times by mid-July.”
Green indicated that they are working on designing some family-friendly times, but will still be limited to a total of eight swimmers during phase one. If a family swim plan happens, it will be posted on the Lake County Recreation Department’s Facebook page and via mass email to all passholders. It will also be posted on the website at www.lakecountyco.com/recreation/lakecountypool.
“I want to get the word out that no one has ever had to wait, and that our afternoons are wide open,” says Green. “I think people are holding back because they don’t want to get turned away, but I want to scream, ‘We are open! Please come see us!”