With safety measures in place, Monona pool has offered positive outlet for staff, patrons

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Attendance at the Monona Family Aquatic Center has remained steady throughout the pandemic, according to staff. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Peyton Meisner, Times-Register

For many families and children, spending hot summer days at the swimming pool is a must. While some pools in the area did not open their doors, the Monona Family Aquatic Center opted to open up for the summer. 

“The pool season has been running as close to normal as possible. We want the pool to remain to be an enjoyable summer place for families to utilize,” said Julie Lenth, Monona Family Aquatic Center manager. 

Lenth said the aquatic center’s staff is doing their best to make sure they keep  patrons safe from COVID-19. 

“Our main priority is maintaining a clean and sanitized work environment for both our staff and our patrons. We are following the guidelines provided to us to keep our facility open safely to the public,” she said.

Some of the guidelines include the lifeguard requirement to wear a mask in the concession stand area, when working with patrons. This ensures the safety of patrons while also providing a sense of comfort to them. There is additional cleaning and sanitizing added throughout the pool day, with cleanings before and after every public swim and swimming lesson time. Lenth explained that, while they cannot mandate social distancing, they are highly encouraging it at the facility.

Lifeguard Micah Decker noted that the pool’s attendance has remained steady throughout the pandemic, saying, “The attendance is not necessarily down from the past, but we’ve noticed there are less of our usual families coming back. We have had more patrons from other surrounding communities coming in, from Waukon or Postville, due to their pools remaining closed.”

“Our public and private lessons stayed about the same in attendance this year as well,” Decker explained. “The first weeks of public lessons had less participants, but as the summer went on, there were more. I think private lessons were seen as a more safe option due to them only being one-on-one instead of a group.”

Decker felt opening the pool this summer has been good for the community, saying, “Opening the pool has definitely been a positive outlet for both the lifeguards and the patrons. It allows us guards to work and make money, while also allowing families the freedom to go outdoors and enjoy the sunshine while staying cool.”

There will be a change to the Monona Family Aquatic Center hours from Aug. 10 to 14 and Aug. 17 to 21. Public swim times will be from 1 to 3 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on those days. Weekends will be regular hours, 1 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8:30 p.m. There will be no adult lap swims on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Aug. 10. Adult lap swims will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and weekends from 5 to 6 p.m.

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