Indy Parks pools take precautions while reopening during pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, public pools across the state are starting to reopen.

With the warm weather a lot of people are wondering if it is safe to go for a swim.

The Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Department opened five of their pools over the weekend.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread through the water in pools.

Early Wednesday morning, Cierra Adams brought her three daughters to the Frederick Douglass Aquatic Center. They were the only people at the pool for about an hour.

“I am happy that the kids were able to get out and do something that they enjoy because they have been stuck inside,” due to the coronavirus, Adams said.

Adams, who has a baby on the way, is an “essential worker” in the state’s Back on Track reopening plan. She says the pool felt safe. She said she was not worried about COVID-19 due to the precautions being taken.

“It feels good to be out of the house and it feels good to be in the water and I am happy that it is not crowded,” Adams said.

The Indianapolis Parks and Recreations Department opened five of their 20 pools over the weekend. They have implemented new COVID-19 precautions that include a pool capacity below 50%. Also, there are new hours giving time for surfaces to be disinfected between sessions, and all staff members must wear masks. Plus, all public chairs have been removed and there are squares spaced 6 feet apart marked on the ground so families can safely social distance out of the pool.

Ashley Ford, pool manager, said the Frederick Douglass Park’s pool typically holds 300 people; however, its current limit is 80 people. While the afternoons get busier, the pool has yet to reach that limit.

“Just trying to make it as safe as possible for ourselves and for our patrons,” Ford said.

Pool staffs say they are mostly seeing families during their new evening hours.

“Families are just looking for some normalcy during you know the coronavirus pandemic. And I think having the pools open has been reprieve for that normalcy,” Ford said.

Indy Parks & Recreations said no one can go to the pool if they have had any COVID-19 signs or symptoms within the last 72 hours.

(WISH Photo/Hanna Mordoh)
(WISH Photo/Hanna Mordoh)