Wausau pools set to open with COVID-19 safety precautions

This summer all pools will have limited capacity and encourage social distancing.
Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 10:57 AM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Kaiser, Memorial, and Schulenberg Pools in Wausau will open on June 4 for the season with a few precautionary changes.

Last year, the Wausau City Council voted not to open the pools, citing the risks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Marathon County Parks and Recreation Department decided to reopen them for the summer when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted by the Centers for Disease Control and the board saw no signs of concern. The number of vaccinated adults in the community also played a part in their decision.

“When summer comes... That’s what you think about is swimming pools, being outdoors, so being able to do that again this year, really is exciting to bring that back to the community and give them what they have been missing out on for the last year,” Mark Dorow the Wausau & Marathon County Parks, Recreation & Forestry Recreation Superintendent said.

This summer all pools will have limited capacity and encourage social distancing. Lockers will also be closed due to it being a high touchpoint. They as that those coming to the pool come dressed and ready to swim.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no evidence shows the COVID-19 virus spreads through water in pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds. Still, the CDC recommends people stay 6 feet away from people they don’t live with and wearing cloth face covers when not in the water.

Amanda Tabin with Safe Kids Marathon County said while we wait for the pools to open, now is the perfect time to go over swimming safety precautions.

Today, child drownings remain the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s data shows that there were, on average, 379 reported pool or spa-related drownings per year for 2015 through 2017.

Teaching your child how to swim, using life jackets for those who don’t know how to swim, and swimming in areas with lifeguards can also help keep everyone safe. Tabin adds that lifeguards should not replace a parent’s watchful eye.

“You want to make sure you’re putting down your cell phone, not reading a book next to the pool, keeping your eyes focused on those kids at all times,” Tabin said.

This summer Marathon County will be offering swimming lessons to the public and free lifeguard training through the Red Cross to those 15 years and older. At this time Marathon County is experiencing a lifeguard shortage and is in desperate need of more to operate the pools.

To sign up for swimming lessons, lifeguard training or to purchase your annual pool pass CLICK HERE.

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