Recreational pools in Arkansas have been given the green light to reopen on May 22.
While that reopening date is just in time for the Memorial Day Holiday, Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington says the Aquatic Center, located at 400 E 11th Ave., will not open on Memorial Day weekend.

Recreational pools in Arkansas have been given the green light to reopen on May 22.
While that reopening date is just in time for the Memorial Day Holiday, Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington says the Aquatic Center, located at 400 E 11th Ave., will not open on Memorial Day weekend.
“That would attract a larger crowd than the governor's directive will allow,” said Washington. “The center will start a soft opening on June 1.”
According to the Directive from the Arkansas Department of Health, the following measures are required:
 The number of people allowed in the facility is restricted to up to 50 percent of the approved bather load or capacity.
 Restrict pool access to fewer entrances as needed to control access and overcrowding.
 Maintain a log of persons entering the facility when possible for use in contact tracing should an outbreak occur.
 Screen employees for fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat or loss of taste or smell upon arrival for each shift, and exclude them from work if they are ill.
 Place signage regarding the COVID19 symptoms and exclusions at all entrances. These signs should inform patrons and staff that those who have any of the following characteristics should NOT be allowed to enter: o Have had a fever of 100.4°F or greater in the last 2 days; o Have a cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell; o Had contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days
 Place signage at all entrances advising the public that they may wish to refrain from entering if they are 65 years of age or older or they have underlying health conditions including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, severe obesity, asthma or weakened immunity.
 Physical distancing of 6 feet should be maintained between people in all pool areas. However, family members may sit and enter the pool together.
 Physical distancing must be enforced at slides, diving boards, and other features that require waiting in line. Place markings on surface to maintain a 6-foot distance and monitor for compliance.
 The pool’s responsible party is required to maintain the safety of bathers by enforcing physical distancing of 6 feet.
 Tables, chairs, water fountains and other high touch surfaces should be disinfected frequently.
 Adjust poolside tables or chairs out so that seats are minimum of 6 feet from seats at adjacent tables. Household groups may sit closer together than 6 feet at tables.
 Maintain pool chemistry at the required levels. Test and document pH, free chlorine before opening and mid-afternoon to ensure proper residuals.
 Snack bars are permitted, but no self-service condiments or similar items are allowed.
Washington states only 50 people will be permitted at a time inside the Aquatic Center.
Water Aerobics and Aqua Zumba will be available by appointment only.
Also, because the number of swimmers in the main pool will be limited to allow social distancing, lap swimming will also only be available by appointment.
According to Washington, chemical levels will be checked multiple times a day to ensure all water is safe.
Additionally, the building will be sanitized throughout the day.
“COVID -19 will be with us for a period of time and we must all remain cautious as we slowly resume operations,” said Washington.
As summer months approach us Washington stresses the importance of following the guidelines and directives set forth by the CDC and the ADH.
“Citizens should follow social distancing directives at all times when interacting with individuals outside of their family groups,” said Washington. “They should also wear masks when in public spaces.”