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Pools operated by San Luis Obispo County Parks & Rec to remain closed all summer

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SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - The San Luis Obispo County Parks and Recreation Department announced that pools will remain closed for the entire summer.

This decision was made due to the unknown timeline for when public pools may be able to operate safely across the State of California.

“This is not a decision we take lightly,” said County Parks Director Nick Franco. “We realize the significant impact this has on a number of families throughout our county.”

County Park-operated pools are located in San Miguel, Shandon, Templeton, Cayucos, and Cambria as well as at Santa Margarita Lake and Coastal Dunes RV Park.

These pools are normally open between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. However, because pools are required to remain closed under Stage 2 guidelines, they have not reopened.

The County said gradual reopening is expected to occur for pools that can limit the number of people who use them first, so as to continue physical distancing.

Unfortunately, only large pools are able to allow enough space for physical distancing. County Parks' pools are relatively small and may not provide sufficient space for physical distancing which means they may not be able to reopen anytime soon.

Additionally, County Parks would need to know the date their pools can reopen in order to train and hire new lifeguards.

“We had to consider our need to move forward with some degree of certainty this summer,” Franco said. “And we are making this decision now so staff can concentrate on the other COVID-19 response duties associated with camping, beach use, picnic areas and other operational restrictions that are in place and take considerable staff time. We certainly expect to be able to return to our normal pool operations next summer.”

The National Recreation and Parks Association recently surveyed park agencies and found that only 5 percent plan to operate pools at a nearly normal level, 18 percent plan to operate with significant modifications such as temperature screening and occupancy limits, and 31 percent have also already decided to not open at all this summer. The rest of the park agencies said they are waiting for additional guidance before making a final decision.

Article Topic Follows: San Luis Obispo County

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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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