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Paul Nelson Aquatic Center pool reopens to public after COVID-19 outbreak

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The City of Santa Maria reopened its main public pool after some lifeguard staff tested positive for COVID-19 last month.

In December 2020, the city reported that 20% of their lifeguard staff had tested positive for the virus or had been exposed to others who had tested positive.

The facility was promptly closed the evening of Dec. 30 and expected to remain closed through at least Jan. 14, the normal amount of time to properly quarantine.

This week, the Aquatic Center announced that their staff have tested negative for COVID and are cleared to return to work.

"So we did have a couple of lifeguards that tested positive, and then we had some who had exposure, so in order to make sure our residents stay safe while using the pool, we quarantined, closed the pool down, did a thorough cleaning and all of our lifeguards are back up to 100%," said Dennis Smitherman with Santa Maria Recreation and Parks.

The city pool reopened to the public Monday morning.

Some residents were anxiously waiting to get back in the water.

The pool is also used for local team events, individual swimming and water sports competitions.

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Keith Carls

Keith Carls is a reporter at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Keith, click here.

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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