ELK GROVE (CBS13) – Soon there will be more than just summer camps happening at the Wackford Aquatic Center in Elk Grove.
“We worked our best to open but make sure we can open safely with a lot of the restrictions, actually all of the restrictions, that they have in place for recreational swimming,” Mike Dopson, Director of Park & Recreation for Cosumnes Community Service District, said.
This is the first time people have been able to frolic and play the aquatic way since the pandemic hit.
“We will be requiring people to wear a face mask when they’re outside and to maintain social distancing, to have a face covering when they are inside,” Dopson said.
The center will start welcoming people back Friday through Sunday with 30% capacity. The center hopes to use this weekend as an evaluation period before deciding to move forward with more recreational swimming in the future.
Sunsplash is also welcoming people back for slip and slide fun. The park’s website recommends that all guests wear masks and requires following social distancing guidelines. Their automated phone system also states that the park requires people to use masks when inside buildings and encouraging people to wear them in line. But, they aren’t required in the water park.
CBS13 called Sunsplash for two days, trying to speak with them about diving deeper into the park’s safety protocols. Our calls were answered but we were told the individual who could comment on these issues was available and we had to leave a voicemail to coordinate an interview. We weren’t called back after leaving the messages.
Not all pools are dipping their toes into the recreation swimming just yet. The Mike Shellito Indoor Pool in Roseville is sticking with just reserved lap swimming and swimming lessons for now. Some swimmers here have their reservations about it.
“So if you can maintain distancing it’s fine. But, you never know if another person is caring for an elderly or if they have a sick kid at home,” Kathy Welsh, a swimmer at the Roseville pool, said.
So, what are the risks of catching the coronavirus with recreational swimming and water parks reopening? An epidemiologist who teaches at Stanford University told CBS13 those living with at-risk people shouldn’t think twice about going to these places.
“Not because of your own health but because you want to protect your grandmother. But that said, the chance of picking up an infection from an outdoor environment is low. The chance in a pool is much lower,” Doctor Rajiv Bhatia said.
Still, some people are being cautious about jumping into the water.
“I wouldn’t feel that comfortable. I’d hold off just a little bit longer,” Antonio Arreguin, who lives in Elk Grove, said. “Just playing it safe.”