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Some local pools open with new restrictions

Local pools open with new restrictions.jpg
Posted at 7:26 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 23:59:29-04

KAUKAUNA, Wis (NBC 26) -- The heat is back but a convenient option to cool off is off the table, because many public pools are closed for the summer. Tonight NBC26 looks into some of the changes you should expect to likely encounter if you are able to find a public pool to cool off at.

The municipal pool in Kaukauna has never been so exclusive. That's because like many communities this summer the city has decided to only let residents take advantage of their cool waters.

"We love our non-resident guests as much as we do love our residents. But we had to put some limiting factors in place this year," says Kaukauna Recreation Director Jeff Malloy.

Malloy says restrictions on who is admitted is just the beginning of the changes at the pool this summer. For instance, in Kaukauna, they'll only be letting 150 people in at a time at a pool that can hold over 800 people.

"I'm waiting for that first day when I have to turn someone away. It's not gonna be fun but that's why we have more than one session so people have opportunities to get in," says Malloy who's referring to their staggered sessions throughout the day for guests.

And as the temperature continues to rise and more people start thinking about ways to cool down, many public pools this summer won't be offering some of the luxuries we're used to seeing poolside.

"We have no furniture on the decks at this point so people have to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets if they would like to have it," says Malloy.

And with continued concern about the spread of COVID-19, Malloy says some public pools like Kaukauna's are reminding folks to put on their swimsuits before arriving because the dressing rooms are closed.

"If we didn't do that we'd have to be disinfecting after every user and that's not practical for us to do that."

And as if enough hasn't already changed, some cities including Kaukauna have decided to close concession stands, bubbles, volleyball courts and even playgrounds at pools as staff try to offer folks a sliver of what many took for granted just last year.

"It's very challenging because we have a lot of family visits that are here and those folks live in the same household and they don't have to social distance. So for my staff to figure out who needs to be social distancing is a challenge."

Public pools in Neenah, Little Chute, and De Pere are ready for guests right now and Colburn pool in Green Bay opens next week. If you are thinking about visiting a public pool park and recreation departments recommend that you reach out to each municipality directly to find out if non-residents can show up and to find out if you have to preregister to take a swim.