COCKEYSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — As most of Maryland moves into the second phase of Gov. Larry Hogan’s Roadmap to Recovery plan amid the coronavirus pandemic, more businesses are able to reopen their doors, including some pools.
Among them is the Padonia Park Club in Cockeysville, which is taking extra steps to keep visitors safe from the virus.
As patrons walk up to Keke at the front desk to check in, they’re greeted by technology many are still getting accustomed to seeing.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak across the state, Padonia Park Club installed infrared scanners to take visitors’ temperatures before they enter.
It was a decision president and CEO Matt Musgrove said was calculated weeks in advance for everyone’s safety.
“We looked at a few different models. We were looking for ones that would add the efficiency,” he said. “There’s different kinds. They do different things. With this one, it allows us to efficiently get people in and makes sure we’re getting accurate reads.”
Here’s how it works: visitors will walk up, stand in front of the computer, get scanned by a receptionist and be on their way. The club told WJZ the technology cost them several thousand dollars.
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Social distancing rules are in place at Padonia Park too.
“The state has set our limits for each of our pool sizes so it’s based on (a) ratio that we maintain the social distancing that’s required and our lifeguards help keep that in check,” Musgrove said as kids jumped and splashed in the pool, their laughter echoing throughout the facility.
Stephanie Bishop and her family traveled from 45 minutes away in Severn to visit Padonia.
“This pool has been a godsend for us that we’re able to come,” she said, smiling. “Every pool near me is closed and my kids are obsessed with the water.”
Her 6-year-old son Spencer — who quickly pointed out he’s six-and-a-half — described the process of getting his temperature taken before entering the pool.
“My mom and dad didn’t take a thermometer. They took a camera that took their temperature,” he said while staring at his reflection in the water.
With COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state below 1,000 for the first time since April, it’s possible Marylanders could be seeing infrared technology like this going forward at Padonia Park and beyond.
Despite reopening, Padonia Park’s three summer camps remain canceled. Staff said they’re committed to doing whatever it takes, including putting barricade fences up, for every safety measure possible.