Groveport closes pool, sets recreation center rules

SCOTT GERFEN
editorial@thisweeknews.com
The Groveport municipal swimming pool, show here in a previous year, has been a popular summer spot in the city.

Like many other central Ohio communities, the city of Groveport will keep its aquatic center closed for the summer due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

City administrator Benjamin King called it a "difficult decision" in a May 27 news release.

"This decision was made after significant discussion and consideration of the required safety precautions for opening pools occurred," King said. "It was ultimately decided, for public safety, health and welfare of our patrons and staff, the most responsible decision was to not open the pool this year."

Gov. Mike DeWine announced pools could reopen May 26 if certain conditions were met to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The guidelines include requiring pool operators to reduce capacity and ensure guests can remain 6 feet apart.

Visitors also cannot gather or swim in groups of more than 10, and the state recommends wearing face coverings when entering and leaving pool areas but not while swimming.

However, in a May 20 letter, Franklin County health commissioner Joe Mazzola urged public-pool operators in the county not to open this summer.

"To reduce the risk of transmission in our health jurisdiction, through permissible by the state, Franklin County Public Health is strongly advising licensed pools not to open this year," he wrote. "If operators choose to open pursuant to the anticipated state order to do so, I, as the health commissioner, am asking that operators delay the pool opening until at least July 1, 2020."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread "through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas or water play areas. Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water."

The Groveport Recreation Center, 7370 Groveport Road, opened its doors May 28 to members only and reduced occupancy to 160 people.

Modified hours are 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The city recommends that everyone using the recreation center wear a mask and check themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to entering the facility.

Social-distancing practices are required.

More information about the recreation center's reopening and the regulations can be found at tinyurl.com/y9qstocx.

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