SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Public pools in Springfield will be open this summer after being closed last year due to the pandemic, but in order to do so safely, the city has quite a few positions to fill.
“We’re hoping to open July 1,” said Joe Federico, aquatics director for the city of Springfield.
Shortly before Independence Day, you’ll be able to swim at Springfield public pools again with some degree of freedom. It’s great news for residents since pools remained closed last summer due to COVID-19 restrictions. Federico told Western Mass News that strict safety measures will be followed.
“We require the patrons to wear masks when they’re in line, when they’re coming in pretty much right up until the point when they’re about to enter the pool,” Federico explained.
In addition to mask requirements, they’ll be operating at 40 percent reduced capacity, with strict distancing guidelines to clear the pool in waves, so that everybody gets a turn.
We asked a local mother of two if she’d feel comfortable letting her kids jump on in.
“I think I will be ready to do that especially because I understand that they are having some slots and time frames for a reasonable number of people going there yeah why not,” said Veronica Oswanski.
It’s assurance that Federico said is backed by the use of chlorine.
“Actually, chlorine is a disinfectant, so it kills the bacteria and actually the coronavirus as well,” Federico noted.
The only problem is the number of positions they have open. In order to operate all 13 sites safely, it requires filling over 60 jobs. While some employees are returning, they’re looking to hire more lifeguards.
“Life guarding in general, there’s a quick turnover for these kinds of jobs…It is most of the time a summer job,” Federico added.
Federico told Western Mass News that the amount of sites they’ll be able to open will depend on the amount of lifeguard positions they’re able to fill.