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Coronavirus: Guelph to begin opening pools and splash pads

City of Regina to open Regent Outdoor Pool this summer
Regina city council voted to open Regent Outdoor Pool this summer.

The City of Guelph says it will begin opening its splash pads and outdoor pools, but with enhanced health and safety measures due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Market Square wading pool will open daily from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. starting Saturday followed by Lyon Pool the Saturday after on July 4.

Read more: Kitchener council endorses plan to open splash pads, swimming pools, community centres and arenas

The city said public swims will be available Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A senior and accessibility swim is available weekdays from 10-11 a.m.

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The wading pools at Exhibition Park and Sunny Acres Park are scheduled to open on July 13.

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There is a bit of a catch due to limited capacity and the pandemic — anyone who uses the pools can only do so for 45 minutes. There will then be a 15-minute cleaning period and those who wish can line up again to use the pools.

There doesn’t appear to be any restrictions for the city’s splash pads when they open on July 6. But the city said those are unsupervised and residents should use at their own risk.

Those are located at Norm Jary Park, Northview Park, South End Park, Jubilee Park and Waverley Park and will open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Hanlon Creek splash pad is closed for construction.

Also, no toys or floats are allowed but disinfected life jackets will be available at Lyon Pool.

Read more: Wading pools in Peterborough reopening, lifeguards at beaches starting Saturday

Residents are being reminded to stay two metres apart and public health’s mandatory mask policy does not include pools and swimming areas.

The idea of swimming near strangers during a pandemic could cause some to be a little apprehensive before showing off their best cannonball in a public pool.

Experts say it’s highly unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through water.

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“Even if that virus got out into the water, it’s going to be inactivated very, very quickly and it’s so diluted that the possibility of someone else getting infected is pretty close to zero,” virologist Jason Kindrachuk told Global News Radio on Friday.

He said while swimming isn’t the problem, it’s the social part people should be aware of, such as touching things and being close to other people.

“That’s where we need to be concerned and be vigilant,” Kindrachuk said.

Read more: Face coverings will be mandatory at all Guelph, Wellington County businesses

Residents are being reminded to stay two metres apart and stay home if they are sick. Washrooms will be open at Lyon Pool, but the lockers and change rooms will be closed. The washrooms will be open at Market Square.

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Public health’s mandatory mask policy does not include pools and swimming areas.