Dubuque Leisure Services sets tentative date for opening public pools

By CAT EDAHL (LCTV)

Sutton Pool (Courtesy of Dubuque Leisure Servies)

As temperatures are on the rise, and summer draws near, citizens who have been on lockdown are eager to escape to their local pools for the summer. However, summer outdoor recreation is going to look very different even as social distancing guidelines are loosened.

Dubuque Leisure Services Head of Aquatics Janna Beau, shared the most recent update regarding the operation of both Flora and Sutton pool. 

As of April 30th, the pools that were once set to open June 1st now have a opening date of June 15th, “barring any necessary changes”. However, unlike most summers this opening is going to look a lot different as the city continues to work through safety measures for patrons and staff when it comes to all interactions, including money handling, the use of bathrooms and showers, and limiting the number of patrons allowed in the facility at all times. Some of the changes proposed might include change in operation hours, zone cuts, leaving concessions closed, only opening 1 pool, and limiting patrons in the pool. “My goal of course is to offer the community aquatic opportunities” Beau adds.

However, there are other safety protocols to consider, including keeping the staff members safe.  “It is the thought process that we need to assume that if there is even one patron in the pool, that person may need to be rescued or provided care, and the contact that is necessary to provide that care goes against the personal space distancing that is recommended.” Therefore, as of now there is no guarantee that the pool will open June 15th. 

Flora Pool Diving Well
Courtesy of Dubuque Leisure Services

During any other summer, the pool serves the community not just as a recreation service, but for some it’s their way to escape the heat when there is no air conditioning at home.

Dubuque resident, Suzy Allison, planned to spend her summer with her toddler at the pool, however now, she must look into other options. “I was really excited for the pools to open this summer, living in a home that doesn’t have the best air conditioning, it seemed like the best way to get outside but to remain cool on days where the heat is just too much. I’m hoping that in a month, things will settle down. If not, I’m not sure what we will do.”

Many others like Allison in the Dubuque Area will also struggle with finding a solution, even if the pools open due to safety restrictions being set in place. 

Updates on pool opening guidelines and closures can be found on the Dubuque Leisure Services website.

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Cat Edahl is a junior from San Fransisco, CA. She is a reporter for LCTV Sports Zone.

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