By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - With Gov. Jim Justice allowing for the reopening of public swimming pools beginning May 30, the Keyser City Council will be revisiting the issue of its parks and pool when they meet on Wednesday.
During their May 27 meeting, council member and parks and recreation commissioner William Zacot had said in speaking with representatives of several surrounding cities and counties, he discovered many of them were not planning to reopen their parks or pools for the entire summer.
Mineral County Health Department administrator A.Jay Root, who was in the audience for the meeting, noted that, “As of right now, the parks and playgrounds have not been released” by the Governor.
“We continue to ask about it, but even on today’s call it is not something that has come up yet.”
Since the May 27 meeting, however, Gov. Justice announced that public pools could reopen during Week 5 of his “The Comeback” plan, with a set of strict safety guidelines in place.
According to the published guidelines, a plan for social distancing and cleaning and sanitizing must be in place, and those working at the pool who regularly interact with the patrons must be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE).
If possible, physical barriers such as lane lines in the water and chairs and tables on the deck should be installed in order to promote at least six feet between those who do not reside n the same household.
Restroom and shower use should be limited as to the number of users at any one time, and any area used by multiple people, including water fountains, common areas, check-in counters, etc., should be cleaned and sanitized as frequently as possible.
Patrons are strongly encouraged to wear PPE, including masks, and they may be subjected to questions about possible symptoms or temperature checks prior to entering the facility to help determine if they could be COVID positive.
Although city parks are not specifically listed in the Governor’s Comeback plan at this time, low-contact sports were to resume this week and outdoor sporting events are to resume on June 22.
Even with guidelines set by the state, however, Zacot said the main concern is keeping the equipment sanitized and the children safe.
The mayor and council will discuss the issue Wednesday. The meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall.