The City of Delaware announced Tuesday that the Jack Florance Pool will remain closed for the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The city made the decision after talking with its pool operator, the Central Ohio YMCA, and other pool professionals.
“The decision to keep the pool closed this summer was not a decision made lightly or in haste,” City Manager Tom Homan said during a virtual meeting of Delaware City Council.
It was based on a number of factors, including very strict federal, state and local guidelines; economic feasibility; and restrictions on pool operations, including the requirement that social distancing be observed in the water.
The city also evaluated:
• Availability of lifeguards who have sought other summer employment
• Decreased pool capacity to meet mandatory state guidelines
• Additional staff needed to meet state guidelines
• Enforcement of state guidelines (including social distancing)
• Patron experience
• Equity of pool access
• Employee and patron safety
• A shortened season and the fixed costs incurred with opening a pool
Gov. Mike DeWine last week allowed the opening of pools, beginning May 26, to be decided by local public health and government officials in compliance with mandatory state operational guidelines. A May 21 recommendation from the Delaware General Health District, the agency that issues the City of Delaware’s pool license, urged keeping pools closed or delaying their opening.
“Unfortunately, COVID-19 is causing everyone to make some difficult decisions. No one at the city is happy about not opening our pool,” Homan said. “The pool not only provides a relaxing summer recreational option for our residents, but it is the place where kids learn to swim and where the DARTS Swim Team has practiced and competed for the last 41 years.”
The City of Delaware Splash Pad and Skate Park remain closed indefinitely until the governor’s order on playgrounds changes, at which time the city will evaluate when either can be opened.
Submitted by the City of Delaware.