When the Decorah Municipal Pool opens next week, it will be unlike any other season. 

“Make no mistake, the 2020 pool experience will be completely different across the nation than it has ever been before,” said a statement from the Decorah Parks and Recreation Board. 

According to Parks and Rec Director Andy Nimrod, the pool is tentatively scheduled to open Monday, June 29. 

Volunteers needed

Nimrod noted in order to meet all safety and sanitation guidelines, they’re going to need a large number of volunteers. 

“We’ve recruited a new group of volunteers called Decorah Swimming Pool Ambassadors. If people want the pool open, we could use some help,” added Nimrod. 

Anyone wishing to volunteer, can call Nimrod’s office at 563-4158 or email parkrec@decorahia.org.

Safety precautions

The Board released a long list of safety precautions it plans to implement: 

• All staff and swimmers will be screened and temperatures will be taken before admittance. No one with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater will be allow into the pool. 

• All staff and patrons are encouraged to wear masks when interacting with others when not in the water. 

• A capacity limit of 388 people (37 percent of the normal pool capacity) has been set, to allow for social distancing. 

• The facility will be cleaned and sanitized “above and beyond” Centers for Disease Control guidelines. 

• Efforts will be made to help with social distancing by marking where to stand in line at the diving boards and water slide. Staff also will mark out areas on the deck and grass to encourage patrons to spread out. 

• No concessions will be provided, nor any food allowed in the pool area. Staff and attendees are encouraged to bring their own water bottle with their name on it. 

• Season pass fees have been prorated and daily admission will remain the same: free for ages 3 and under (parents must pay); $5 for ages four to 64 and $4 for ages 65 and up, plus special-needs patrons. 

• There will be no swimming lessons taught by Decorah Parks and Rec this season.  (“Please note this is an incredibly difficult decision, however, due to restrictions and concerns, we are not prepared to put this on our lifeguards at this point.”)

• A new feature, called “family time” has been added for this season and will fun from 6 – 7 p.m. daily. Children must be accompanied by an adult to come during this time. (“This is an excellent time for parents wishing to work on teaching some basic swimming techniques in a quieter setting. 

• Lap swim and water walking hours have been expanded to safely accommodate the maximize the number of patrons served. These will be done by sign-up only. Parks and Recs is currently working on a sign-up system and will release more information as it becomes available. 

• No pool parties will be scheduled.

Can’t do everything

Nimrod emphasized the need for additional volunteers and said the Board realizes it will be a much different t season. 

“We know people may be disappointed there are no swimming lessons, but we can’t do everything,” he said. 

“The health and safety of patrons and staff will be the highest priority.”