ANN ARBOR, MI — Ann Arbor has unveiled more details about plans for expanded swimming opportunities this summer in response to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Starting June 14, the city plans to increase capacity at its outdoor swimming pools at Buhr, Fuller and Veterans Memorial parks and no longer limit lap swimming to one person per lane, the city announced in an email update.
Until then, the pools will operate under an existing reservation system with capacity limits to give the city time to update staffing models and operating procedures, officials said.
The changes coming in two weeks will increase capacity limits for lap swimming and general swimming.
Pool admission will be available in two-hour blocks and can be purchased online or at the pool the day of visiting if spaces are available. Fuller Pool will have up to 150 spots per two-hour block while Buhr Park Pool and Veterans Memorial Park Pool will have up to 90 spots per two-hour block.
Typically, up to three swimmers per lap lane will be allowed, according to the city’s update, which noted the city also is evaluating lower-capacity options for immunocompromised people and other designated groups.
Further operational changes could be coming in July based on updates from regulatory agencies. Due to staffing levels developed under previous state restrictions and a historically low numbers of job applicants, hours and offerings will vary from previous years, the city cautions.
“Safety of our swimmers is of the utmost importance and capacity limit and program offerings will be scaled as necessary to reflect staffing levels,” the city’s update states.
Other pool operational updates:
- The city will not be offering season passes for the pools this season.
- Limited deck furniture will be available for use at all three pools.
- Children 12 and older will be allowed to use the deep end without a swim test at all three pools, a lowering of the previous age limit of 16. Pool staff will not be doing deep-end tests for children under 12 due to staffing constraints.
- Rentals and large group reservations are not available this season.
- Visitors will be required to wear masks inside the lobby and locker rooms unless fully vaccinated or otherwise exempt.
- New UV filters have been installed at each of the outdoor pools as a secondary filtration system, in addition to chlorine, to kill bacteria and prevent waterborne illnesses.
Colin Smith, the city’s parks manager, did not respond to a request for comment on whether the city is concerned about national reports of a chlorine shortage.
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