The Department of Parks and Recreation is instructing public pools reopening on Friday, July 24, to use a wristband system to prevent long lines where maintaining social distance can be challenging.
“Think of it as like a Disney FastPass,” said Crystal Howard, assistant commissioner of communications for the Parks Department. “Once a pool manager decides that a queue has grown too large, staff will distribute wristbands to different sections with the instruction to return to the pool entrance at another designated time. Once the wait time has ended, those that have been given wristbands can bypass the line and enter the pool.”
Parks did not want to describe how staffers will be able to distinguish one groups’ set of wristbands from another out of fear of duplication, according to Howard. Other measures being taken to ensure visitors maintain social distancing, is only allowing pools to operate at 30 percent their normal capacity and requiring all pool-goers to wear masks while out of the water.
All staff, with the exception of lifeguards, will also be required to wear face coverings at all times and will be required to clean “high-touch areas” like pool ladders, drinking fountains, shower controls, door handles, sinks, toilets, and urinals multiple times a day. Pool deck furniture like picnic tables, chairs, and lounges will be cleaned twice a day.
Staff will also frequently walk through waiting areas and locker rooms to make sure that congregating takes place. The number of benches in locker rooms has also been reduced to ensure that visitors sit at least six feet apart.
New signs reminding patrons to keep social distance have also been added outside of the reopening public pools. The pavement outside of pools has also been set up with markings spaced six-feet apart to help space out those in line.
Pools will open at 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and reopen at 4:00 p.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. in keeping with traditional pool hours of operation before New York City fell into the “new normal.”
The public pools reopening Friday, July 24 are:
Mullaly Park Pool, Highbridge
Sunset Pool, Sunset Park
Kosciuszko Pool, Bed-Stuy
Wagner Pool, East Harlem
Liberty Pool, Jamaica
Fisher Pool, East Elmhurst
Tottenville Pool, Tottenville
Lyons Pool, Tompkinsville
Seven more pools are scheduled to reopen July 31.
This story first appeared on amny.com.