August 10, 2020 @ 9:14 PM
On Monday, August 10, the Stettler Aquatic Centre reopened with new safety rules to try to lessen the spread of COVID-19. Swimmers are encouraged to visit the Town of Stettler’s website here: http://www.stettler.net/admin/contentx/default.cfm?PageId=8245 to pre-register for a dedicated time to swim and download a waiver to sign.
You can also call the Stettler Recreation Centre at 403-742-4411 to book a spot. Waivers are available at the desk if you don’t print one beforehand. There, staff will take swimmers’ temperatures before allowing them to access the pool; a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or lower is required.
Sonia Dodd, Aquatics Manager, explained that the pool had been closed recently for all new grouting to be installed as well as construction on the roof. Now that it is back open, she says that “we might change the hours that we’re open depending on whether people come, but we will stay open because we serve the community.”
When you make an appointment to swim, you can sign up for a lane swim, an exercise swim, or a bubble swim. Five swimmers are allowed in the water at a time for lane swim, and seven groups at a time for bubble swim with six swimmers per bubble. Exercise swims are available for drop-in, but are limited to six people at a time in the pool. Specific times for swimming are listed on the website, as well as on signs posted at the entry to the pool by the desk.
In addition to the usual lifeguards, there will now be a “COVID Responsible Person” on deck, which is mandated by the Lifesaving Society. This staff member will make sure that swimmers are distancing appropriately in and out of the pool. The “Tarzan rope,” the climbing wall, and the hot tub are all closed for the present.
More changes you may notice include that the change rooms are now closed for entry. Please arrive dressed to swim and shower on the pool deck. Staff will let swimmers in through the blue doors under the “Pool” sign. Exiting through the family room is allowed, but the showers are turned off for now and swimmers are encouraged to dry off quickly and shower at home. No PFDs or pool toys will be out for general use, and if you bring your own, you must sanitize them at home with bleach first.
The evening swim hours are slightly reduced; the pool now closes at 8:30 pm at the latest. That extra hour that was often open for adult swim will now be more time for the pool to be cleaned carefully.
Dodd noted that “right now, we are being careful to explain all the rules to everyone. Hopefully we will be able to relax soon.” She added that most other aquatic facilities are employing similar rules with the aim of slowing down the spread of COVID-19.
Alix Adair, Reporter