ATLANTIC – Officials with the Atlantic Park and Recreation Department announced Friday morning that Sunnyside Pool will not open for the season due to restrictions with the COVID-19 virus. Officials said they do not have enough employees to clean areas up to Center of Disease Control (CDC) standards as well to monitor if people are following the six foot social distancing rules.
“Even with the newest proclamation by Governor Reynolds permitting lap lanes and swim lessons, the social distancing requirements are still in place,” department officials said in their statement posted on the park’s Facebook Page. “This proclamation does not open up recreational swimming venues. Although we have employees trained and hired to be lifeguards, we do not have the necessary employees to fulfill the recommendations of the CDC to be able to clean frequently touched objects (hand rails, door knobs, restrooms, showers, lockers, chairs, etc.) after every single use. We also do not have additional employees to monitor the recommended 6 feet physical distancing of those in the water who are not immediate family members or who reside in the same household.”
Officials also noted that additional requirements could have a significant financial impact on the city as well.
“With health and safety being our foremost concern, the financial impact is also significant,” officials said in the statement. “Even if we could accommodate all of the additional requirements, the pool consistently operates at a loss each year. The additional expenses, and loss of revenue, could potentially impact city funds.”
However, park officials also noted that they are opening up other areas, such as the dog park, the tennis courts and basketball courts for people to use with certain rules. Atlantic Park and Recreation Director Bryant Rasmussen said Friday morning that people can still use those ares with certain rules, such as using their own equipment when playing a game like pickle ball. People should refer to signs in the area for the rules at different locations.
Rasmussen said park officials are working to open areas up when they can, balancing the fact that people want to be able to get out and do things with the fact that they want to make sure that staff and other people stay healthy.
“We’re rolling back stuff at the quickest rate that we possibly can while still following the recommendations and the proclamations that are still forth that constrain us a little bit,” Rasmussen said. “As soon as we have the opportunity to open up some of those those things to give people more options while they’re stuck at home, we’re doing our best. But we’re also making sure that we do the due diligence of making sure that when we do make that decision we’re taking into consideration the health and the safety of the people who will utilized it as well as the health and safety of our employees.”