BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Five of Baltimore’s city pools reopened Monday with a number of changes in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The pools, as well as basketball courts, playgrounds, exercise equipment and bocce courts, were the latest attractions to reopen in Baltimore months after the coronavirus led to a stay-at-home order.
Before even entering the pool, visitors need to make a 90-minute reservation and have a ticket for a specific time. Once inside, people will need to wear a mask at all times except when in the water.
Between swimming sessions, there’s a break to allow staff to get ready for the next group.
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Nearly a month into summer, it’s now beginning to look and sound like it.
“I’m hearing splashing. I’m hearing water. I’m hearing people playing. It’s the sounds of summer,” recreation manager Darryl Sutton said.
The five pools that reopened on Monday have their capacities set at 50. The Patterson Park pool normally holds 200, Sutton said.
Some of the first families to visit the pool when it reopened told WJZ they were fine with the reservations and restrictions.
“If there was going to be a long line outside, we probably would have turned around,” Nicole Aranda from Baltimore said, adding the online reservation system was easy to figure out.
Baltimore’s @RecNParks pools reopened today at 25% capacity and by reservation only. No locker room access and masks must be worn out of the water.
For reservations and a list of other guidelines, visit the city’s website. https://t.co/82rnl5LNZL
— Paul Gessler (@PaulGessler) July 13, 2020
“There’s not many people here honestly. So yeah, I do feel pretty safe,” Clarence Orsi said. “I feel like it’s worth the slight risk in order to be able to have this experience.”
In addition to capacity limits, locker room access is restricted and directional decks and social distancing are required.
“It seems that they’re doing a good and responsible job of taking care of us,” Kate Gaston from Baltimore said.
Staff members got the pools ready to open in just three weeks, a process that normally takes months. They’re now open just in time as summer temperatures have been above average.
Six neighborhood pools will open next week.
To learn more and to register, click here.