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How COVID-19 is affecting public pools


Perhaps nobody knew just how severely the COVID-19 pandemic would hit as it gained strength when it first started, and perhaps that’s a grave understatement, but still it bears to be said. Many were hoping that the heat of summer would simply banish the virus, just as President Donald Trump said in one of the very first press conferences held in the States, very much in the same way that the cold rid the world of the Ebola outbreak that occurred in New York City and of course Dallas, Texas in the fall of 2014.

This of course wasn’t the case.

And now, as it has clearly come to be seen by one and all, the virus and the rules set up to prevent the spread of it seem to be here to stay.

If it isn’t the long lines at grocery stores, or having to wear  a mask in the heat, then it perhaps is the fact that we all had to quarantine and for so long, most not being able to see loved ones during holidays and of course birthdays. But, as a city, we all came together and we bit the so-called bullet that life halted our way, and we did it for the greater good, and we’ll do it still, but of course many of us were hoping for that inevitable end in sight … one that never came.

Instead, we were faced with even more restrictions and probably many more to come.

Following a very cold spring, once the heat finally came, many in the city who were accustomed to dipping into the many public pools were faced with closures and new rules to follow. And albeit, they are in fact quite necessary, these rules have impeded many that can’t afford their own backyard pools from a much needed break form the sweltering heat the summer of 2020 has brought right along with it.

Rules vary from pool to pool and some locations are even closed. Some rules at the Baie d’Urfé site include:

  • Do not use the pool if you have a cough, fever or other symptoms of illness. 
  • Wear a face covering when you are not in the swimming pool.
  • Maintain at least 2m between you and other people who are not a part of your household.

Specifically at the Baie d’Urfé Aquatic Club, you must call in advance to reserve time in the pool. So remember, you just can’t show up. This is the case for many pools in the West Island and even the rest of the city. The rules are posted up at the website for the Baie d’Urfé location and you can call your neighborhood pool for information, but beware, as is the case in the East End of the city, some pools are closed completely and perhaps won’t be opening at all this season. And in Montreal North, apparently the protocol calls for only ten people at a time to be using the a single public pool. So we’d say it’s rather safe to assume that the waiting list is pretty long.

So yeah … looks like that light at the end of the proverbial tunnel seems to be getting further and further away, but if we all stick together and follow the rules, we’ll be rid of this pandemic in no time. And in the meantime, maybe that mini heart-shaped pool at Canadian Tire is looking pretty good right about now, eh?


By Domenic Marinelli – info@mtltimes.ca

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