With summer just around the corner but uncertainly lingering about how the COVID-19 coronavirus will affect public gatherings, Bexley's Recreation and Parks Department is exploring how, when and if to proceed with opening the pool, summer camps and other seasonal activities.

The opening of the Bexley Community Pool has been postponed from May 23 to at least May 29, in keeping with Gov. Mike DeWine's stay-safe order, recreation director Michael Price said at the May 6 monthly meeting of the city's recreation board.

However, the recreation department is anticipating new guidelines may be forthcoming from the Ohio Department of Health or Franklin County Public Health.

"The Franklin County board of health, who licenses the pools, could also step in," he said. "It's possible that they could step in and say, irrespective of the state's order, that, 'We're not going to allow pools to open.' "

Price said he has been consulting with recreation administrators in neighboring communities, including Grandview Heights and Hilliard, both of which opted to keep their pools closed for the summer.

"We're trying to put as many options in place and then reacting to the information we get," he said.

Price said the department also is exploring alternatives for summer camp, such as obtaining a license from the state to operate the camp as a pandemic daycare option for residents who are have been deemed essential workers and are in need of child care.

He said the department has had conversations with Bexley City Schools administrators about using school buildings to operate the camp as pandemic daycare centers.

"We are daily coming up with new plans. We're augmenting them based on new information," he said.

"We're looking at the hours of operation, we're looking at, frankly, everything that the camp does and how we do it and how we might need to change if we are able to open," Price said.

"We have talked with the nursing staff in the school systems to talk about potentially having a nurse on-site during the course of the summer," he said.

Price said the department also is evaluating safety measures that might need to be in place if camp is able to proceed.

"We're looking at resources we need to purchase, such as hand sanitizer, gloves, face masks, thermometers – the ones you can do from a distance," he said.

The recreation department has canceled the Main Event movie screenings and Jazz in the Park events scheduled for May and June, Price said.

For updates about the city's recreation programming, visit bexley.org/recreation.

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