YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Public swimming pools are allowed to open across Ohio on May 26.
Some operators are getting ready for the big day, but operators for North Side Pool in Youngstown worry that they may not open at all this year.
“To get prepared for that, it takes all hands on deck and honestly, takes more than seven employees to do so,” said City Parks and Recreation Director Dawn Turnage.
Pool operators found out the opening date during Governor Mike DeWine’s press conference on Thursday.
Turnage doesn’t see that opening date happening at North Side Pool.
She said the city was forced to make hundreds of job cuts due to the virus, including eight full-time parks and recreation employees. They need to make sure they can follow guidelines.
“We first have to take all recommendations by Dr. Acton and Governor DeWine and then make sure that it’s humanly possible for us to do that,” Turnage said.
Other local pools are also facing hurdles before reopening.
“We will not be able to say a date until we know if our plans have been approved or if there are changes,” said Chris Hughes, aquatics director at YMCA in Youngstown.
They are still waiting for guidelines on what they’ll need to do for COVID-19. Then, local health commissioners will have to approve the individual facility’s plan.
At that point, the staff must be trained.
“Training them in all those things that they need to know and then be ready in 10 days, it’s not really realistic,” Hughes said.
Hughes has been in contact with YMCA locations in Georgia and Florida. Both states have already reopened pools.
That way, she can plan for what reopening guidelines will look like.
Turnage said the city will have to rehire people for the North Side Pool to open this year.