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Public pools remind visitors of guidelines to mitigate spread of COVID-19

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Posted at 4:14 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 17:55:21-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Another pool season is starting as the pandemic continues, and many pools across the region are open.

Before you pack the swim trunks and towels, however, it's not as simple as just showing up and jumping in.

“As we go into summer operations, [there are guidelines] very similar to what we’re doing right now.” Dan Jones, head of Norfolk’s Aquatics and Beaches, explained.

The City of Norfolk has developed guidelines to make sure people can cool off safely this summer at the city’s pools. Signs and decals notify guests of the new guidelines and processes they can expect when walking in.

“You’ll be screened as you enter the building, you’ll check in, then make a reservation for another lane within seven days," Jones explained. "We only allow one reservation in the books at a time."

Once you are in the pool area, individuals or families will be able to enjoy the pool for 30 minutes in an individual reserved lane. Jones said this is the standard protocol at all of the city pools.

“There’s different structures that are in place but you’ll find similar themes from one city to another,” Jones said.

Some cities will also require you to make a reservation for a timed session. Certain features like locker rooms may not be open at pools across the region, and staff at the center will be sanitizing surfaces.

Cities such as Suffolk tell us they are basing their public pool guidelines on state mandates. Other cities such as Newport News will limit swim times to 50 minutes.

Jones said he cannot say how long these policies will be in effect.

“Hopefully fall and winter will be more of a normal schedule,” Jones said. “Or at least that we’re headed into the direction of a normal schedule.”