BY JIM HERRIN
Normally, at about this time of the year, Putnam County Parks and Recreation Director John Ross Albertson would be lining up lifeguards and making other plans to open the swimming pools at the community centers in Cookeville and Monterey.
“Our pools would normally be open from Memorial Day to Labor Day,” he said.
But the pandemic has changed that schedule.
“After a lengthy review of the CDC guidelines for operating pools under COVID restrictions, our department — in conjunction with state and local officials — has made the decision to close both of our community pools for the duration of the 2020 season,” Albertson said. “We found that it would be nearly impossible to meet the guidelines of social distancing while patrons were in the pool and out of the pool.”
He said additional staffing would also have been required.
“In order to have maintained the necessary restrictions and measures, our department would have been required to hire twice the normal amount of staff to properly protect staff and patrons,” he said.
But Albertson is putting a positive light on the need to stay closed.
“We hope to use this time to make some improvements to our pool area,” he said. “The Cookeville pool is empty right now because we are servicing and replacing our lights.”
What about citizens who had purchased pool season passes?
“Anyone that has already paid for pool passes or pool parties will receive a full refund,” Albertson said. “We apologize for any inconveniences due to this decision and look forward to seeing everyone for our 2021 pool season.”