With the County now in Stage 2 of the Province’s re-opening plan, all three municipal pools—in Caledonia, Dunnville and Hagersville—will open Wednesday, July 8 for public/fitness swims with instructional programming beginning Monday, July 20.
“Staff in our Facilities and Programming areas have been working with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) to get pools open,” says Mayor Ken Hewitt. “We know this has been a challenging time, and the heat is rising, but we’ve had to implement a lot of new protocols to keep residents and visitors safe and healthy.”
The current Stage 2 limitations require that that County incorporate a new way of operating pools, including:
- Reduced bather loads to 25% to comply with social distancing and social ‘bubble’ (up to ten family members or people with whom you live/socialize regularly) requirements;
- Incorporating new sanitization and cleaning protocols in keeping with HNHU recommendations;
- Advance reservations for recreational (public/fitness) swims and registration for instructional programming through the County’s online booking system;
- Participant arrival at the pool 20-30 minutes before the start of a reservation/registered program for sign-in and screening and to ensure participants benefit from maximum available swim time;
- Participants showered and dressed for swim prior to sign-in (i.e. at home); dressing rooms will not be available to change;
- Leaving valuables at home as participants will have to bring and leave their items on the pool deck during their swim;
- Public/fitness swim reservations will be 45 minutes of swim time, followed by 15 minutes to clean/sanitize the pool for the next group of participants;
- Walk-ups will only be considered if space is available; and,
- Social distancing protocols must be adhered to by participants before, during and after swims.
Registration is now open and residents may book free public/fitness swim slots using the County’s online registration system (link.haldimandcounty.ca) or by calling Haldimand County customer service at 905-318-5932.
Registration for paid, instructional programming must be completed online through the registration system or in-person at the Haldimand County Administration Building. Wait lists will be maintained for recreational and instructional programming, and participants may be asked to change bookings depending upon demand.
Reservations for public/fitness swims will be accepted on a week-by-week basis; participants are asked to limit the number of slots they book in one day to ensure the maximum number of participants possible can enjoy recreational swims. Registration for instructional programming (which begins July 20) is also open and can be booked for anytime this summer. There will be an overall reduction in the number of instructional programs offered to comply with social distancing requirements, and participants are encouraged to book their instructional programming as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
“We know everyone is excited to have the pools open; however, we ask everyone to please be patient with staff and other participants and help model the new protocols and requirements,” adds Hewitt. “Splash pads will also be opening in the near future and staff are working to ensure proper measures are in place to protect individuals who will be using them.”
Residents are encouraged to check Haldimand County’s website and social media accounts regularly for updates related to splash pads, pool programming and associated public health protocols.