When I started working from home nine month ago, I wanted to go aqua jogging after work every day. But the water in the unheated outdoor swimming pool was too cold. I had to wait until spring for temperatures to warm up. And then everything—including swimming pools—shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
That was four-and-a-half months ago.
Santa Clara County, otherwise known as Silicon Valley, re-opened outdoor swimming pools with social distancing rules. I’ve been aqua jogging every week for the last month. Learn how my “gated community” re-opened the outdoor swimming pool.
New Pool Rules
Here are some of the new pool rules required by the Santa Clara County health department:
- A reservation system to limit the number of people in the pool at any given time.
- Each swimmer must have 300 square feet of pool area (unless from the same household).
- Swimmers must keep six feet away from each other (unless from the same household)..
- Face coverings should always be worn except when swimming.
If you live somewhere else, your county and/or state may have different rules for reopening outdoor swimming pools.
These restrictions are to prevent another Lakes of the Ozarks pool party from taking place. Over 200 people gathered in a pool without any form of social distancing during the Memorial Day weekend. At least one person at the party had the coronavirus. It remains unknown how many people got sick from that party.
Make A Reservation
Residents who want to use the outdoor swimming pool must make a reservation through the community portal website. Reservations are typically one hour long and available during office hours from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday through Saturday.
Due to the limited number of available time slots, only one reservation per household per week. If late, the reservation time won’t extend beyond the designated time slot. If a no-show, the household might get ban from using the swimming pool area.
Everyone from Same Household
Each reservation limited to four people from the same household. The swimming pool can accommodate up to three people and one person for the hot tub. Since everyone is from the same household, the rule to maintain six feet from each other doesn’t apply. Residents cannot invite anyone from outside of their household or the community to use the swimming pool.
Check-in at The Office
Residents must check-in at the office at the time of their reservation. All residents must wear a mask and stay six feet away from staff. Staff will ask each resident if they had a cough and check their temperature with a thermometer gun. After checking in, the residents can use the swimming pool area.
Swimming Pool Area
The biggest change in the swimming pool area is all the lounge chairs and patio furniture are gone. Three chairs are available since the swimming pool can only accommodate three people at a time. Residents can store their stuff on the chairs or sit down to watch younger swimmers. No chair is available for the person sitting in the hot tub.
Outdoor facilities like restrooms and water fountains are unavailable. Residents must keep track of their time and exit the swimming pool area through the outside gates. Staff will spray down surface areas in and around the pool between reservations.
I like the reservation system since I can get the entire swimming pool to myself. It’s quiet and peaceful being in the water all by myself. A nice break from working at home and playing FortNite. I wish I could use the swimming pool three or four times a week instead of once a week. Aqua jogging is great exercise when the gyms are still closed.