Richmond plans for eventual reopening of pools amid pandemic

Richmond Plunge to host low-cost swim lessons for adults
The Richmond Plunge photo courtesy of the City of Richmond.

By Kathy Chouteau

Pending Contra Costa County health directives, Richmond hopes to open its pools soon so that the community can enjoy a summertime splash.

According to the Richmond City Manager’s report for the week ending July 10, city officials are working to implement changes to operating procedures at the Richmond Plunge and the Richmond Swim Center.

“The main change that swimmers should expect is they will need to preregister online for their time and lane before coming to the pool. This is being done to prevent overcrowding, and to allow for the necessary physical distancing,” per the report.

“Additionally, the locker rooms and showers will be off limits…and all swimmers will be required to wear masks, swim one person per lane in the center of the lane and enter/exit at specified times.”

Initially, the adult lap swim and individual water exercise will be the only offerings, with other classes and programs—i.e., water fitness classes, swim teams and other rental groups—eventually resuming on a revised basis as restrictions ease.

Another area of focus for the City will be to retrain lifeguards, particularly in regards to how they perform rescues and CPR/First Aid, per the report. Due to the pandemic, they will be limited on how they can employ such assistance in person.

“These challenges are complex, but staff are working on solutions, so that the pools can open as soon as possible,” officials stated in the report.

As the City focuses on its safety preparations, The Standard will keep the community updated on the status of the pools.