Kentucky’s reopening guidelines allows for public pools to reopen today. The opening comes with extensive restrictions and guidelines.

The American Legion Water Park and pool at Colvin Com­mun­ity Center in Radcliff will remains closed, city officials said.

“With the new regulations due to COVID-19, current pool capacity is based on square footage and based on the size of American Legion Water Park we would be only allowed 40 individuals total in the activity pool and 14 people in the lazy river for a total of 54 people per state and local health guidelines,” said Seth Breitner, Elizabethtown Parks and Recreation director.

Those numbers would have to be enforced and monitored at all times, which would include times limits because there couldn’t be exceeded wait times to get in because of social distancing, he said.

There also would have to be social distancing involved in the water, he said.

“Our regular capacity is 600 plus at a time and we reach that capacity four to five days a week during a typical season with waiting lines,” he said.

In 2019, the park reported more than 35,000 visitors for the season.

“With only 54 visitors allowed, it would be financially irresponsible to open, maintain the pool, staff with certified lifeguards and clean to the current regulations at a time when the city’s budget has already seen a large decrease due to the financial shortfalls this year has brought,” Breitner said.

Radcliff Mayor J.J. Duvall said a decision to remain closed for the summer was a difficult one.

“Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the delayed opening of community pools, it made it hard for us to open our facilities,” he said. “The difficult decision to not open our community pool was one which was not taken lightly.”

He said the amount of time it would take to hire and train employees was analyzed, as well as the short amount of time the pool would be open and the guidelines the city would have to follow.

“In the end, it came down to the safety of our citizens and the financial burden it would place on the city during this time of uncertainty,” Duvall said.

Justin Dohrman with Fort Knox Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation said that the pools on Fort Knox will not be opening today and currently there is no opening date planned.

To reopen, public swimming and bathing facilities have to follow the Healthy at Work minimum requirements as well as additional requirements.

According to the social distancing requirements stated for opening regulations, there is a certain procedure to find how many people can be permitted in these facilities.

It states “public swimming and bathing facilities should take the water surface area and divide by 36 square feet.”

That number will produce the maximum capacity for the pool to allow a social distance of six feet.

The regulations state maximum capacity within the entire facility should be calculated in the same way and chairs on deck should be spaced six feet apart on all sides.

Along with extended social distancing requirements there also are cleaning and disinfecting requirements, PPE requirements and training requirements the facility will have to go by.

For a more detailed explanation of the state requirements to reopen a public pool, go to governor.ky.gov/covid19 and look for public pool guidance.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1740 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

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