Update for Saratoga Pool Members
In normal times, we would all be looking forward to the opening of the Saratoga Pool this weekend, and the beginning of the 2020 pool season. However, we all recognize that these are not normal times, as Northern Virginia remains under a stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the Saratoga Pool will not open on May 23, and there will be no opening party this weekend.
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a great deal of uncertainty about the future and is negatively impacting the 2020 pool season. The stay-at-home order may be lifted as early as May 28, and the area may move to a Phase I re-opening. Conversely, local authorities may request another extension of the order, if the COVID-19 metrics are still not being met locally. Under Phase I, outdoor pools can be open for lap swimming only, with one person in each lane. All seating in outdoor pool areas must be closed in Phase I. Restrictions may be relaxed for Phases 2 and 3 to allow for larger groups, perhaps opening of seating, and increased swimming and diving activity.
The Saratoga Pool has been prepared to open. As a minimum, the pool needs to remain in compliance with local health codes which require weekly maintenance, even if closed. The CDC and the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) have published extensive guidance and requirements for the opening of pools. The pool board is currently reviewing that guidance and is required to build a compliance plan that will meet those requirements. The board must also take into account state and local health department guidance to ensure the safety of members, the availability and training of lifeguards, sanitization and deep cleaning requirements, and procedures to meet the safe distance guidance. Additionally, the board will evaluate the economics of the “if/when/how” to open the pool, to make sure that it makes financial sense to open the pool in any fashion.
We are hopeful that we can develop a viable plan and receive the necessary clearance from state and local authorities to operate the Saratoga Pool this season. While it is not possible to provide an opening date at this time, it is clear that the season will be shortened. If the pool season must be cancelled, we will hold your paid dues and credit those funds toward your registration for the 2021 season.
We ask for your patience as we move forward. We also welcome any ideas you may wish to bring forward.
Your Saratoga Pool Board