June 29, 2020
At its June 22nd meeting, the City Council voted to restore FY21 funding to allow the City to open the Peirce Island Outdoor Pool for the summer season, once Governor Sununu permitted outdoor swimming pools to open under his Reopening Guidelines.
At the City Manager’s direction, the Recreation Department and DPW have worked with City Health Officer Kim McNamara to make several adjustments to the pool and bathhouse facility to allow the pool to reopen. Starting July 6, 2020, the pool will be open from 11 am to 6 pm each day, allowing up to 50 Portsmouth residents at a time at the facility. The following safety precautions will be in place:
- The outdoor pool will be open to Portsmouth residents only, and each person must affirm that they are not ill, have not been ill and have not been in contact with someone confirmed or suspected to have Covid-19. A photo ID is required, to prove residency.
- Pool use is by reservation only. Each pool reservation is for a one-hour block of time and after each block is cleared, toilets and sinks in the bathhouse will be disinfected. Reservations may be made up to two days in advance, and up until 10 am the day-of. After 10am, please call the pool at (603) 433-0039 for available spots. https://rec.cityofportsmouth.com/CourseActivities.aspx?id=7&cat=5
- Individual pool users must maintain 6’ physical distancing both in and out of the pool, though family members are allowed in close proximity and it’s expected adults will be close to small children in the pool. 12 lanes at the deep end of the pool will be set up to allow 12 individuals to swim in the middle of each 6' lane and remain 6 feet apart. The remaining zones of the pool will accommodate 38 people, either individually or in family groups.
- People must shower at home before coming to the pool, come dressed in their swimwear and be prepared to go home without using bathhouse changing areas. (This reduces shared spaces and is also because the bathhouse surfaces are worn and difficult to clean and disinfect.)
- The bathhouse will be reserved for toilet and immediate handwashing use only. The bathrooms will be stocked with hand soap, spray surface-sanitizer and paper towels.
- Masks are required for entering and exiting the facility and when using the restroom. Masks should not be worn in the pool. You may take them off if you wish while sitting in your chair or in the pool. Disposable surgical masks will be available at the door for those who forget to bring one.
- There will be no tables set up or snack bar available this summer. Visitors may bring chairs/blankets/towels/etc. to sit on and refreshments to eat or drink.
City Manager Karen Conard noted, “Health Officer McNamara is comfortable with the City opening the outdoor pool at this time, with these guidelines in place. We all understand how important it is to give residents, especially children, options like the pool for healthy outdoor summer recreation and as a place to cool off in hot weather We will be monitoring how this goes and may make adjustments as the season progresses. Please note that we may have to close the pool as a precaution if we begin to see an increase in local transmission of COVID-19.”