Hilliard's pools will open at full capacity May 29
Summer at the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center, 3800 Municipal Way, and at the Clyde “Butch” Seidle Community Pool, 4450 Schirtzinger Road, will look much more normal this pool season.
Capacity limits and a requirement for members to register for assigned time slots to visit the facilities that the city announced earlier this year have been lifted after Gov. Mike DeWine announced revised public-health guidelines concerning the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“With the governor’s announcement, we are no longer limiting capacities or enforcing time slots," said Anna Subler, communications administrator for Hilliard. "We are opening at full capacity May 29 with regular hours."
Patrons also will be able to change in the pool's restrooms, Subler said.
Previously, patrons were advised to arrive at the facility's "swim ready."
All the facilities at both pools will open May 29.
Previously, the lazy river at the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center and the interactive pool were not scheduled to open May 29 but rather in later phases.
However, social distancing and wearing masks will be required until June 2, Subler said.
"Everything will be the same as years past after June 2," Subler said, referring to the date DeWine said public-health orders, such as mandating the wearing of masks in public, would be lifted when gave a statewide address May 12.
Adequate staffing also played a role in the decision to fully open the pools, according to David Ball, director of communications for Hilliard.
"We reviewed our capability to operate our pools in a safe manner in light of the evolving county, state and CDC guidelines," Ball said. "Given the preparations the city has put in place, including increased staff training, plans for more stringent cleaning protocols, and the timing of the lifting of the restrictions, we believe the pools can be opened in a largely normal manner."
Hilliard Recreation and Parks Department director Ed Merritt said he is optimistic that the normalcy of the pools will extend to other summer activities in 2021.
"I think that swimming pools opening again is one of the first big signs that this summer will be much different than 2020," Merritt said. "Other examples we're looking forward to are the Thursday night summer concert series in Old Hilliard, which starts June 3, and the July 3 Freedom Fest concert and fireworks.
"We still advise people to take basic precautions, even if they have been vaccinated, but without a doubt, our residents are beyond excited to see their lives starting to get back to normal."