Massive lifeguard shortage in northern Virginia could close pools

A massive lifeguard shortage in northern Virginia is leading to a modified schedule for pools and water parks in Prince William County.

Drastic measures including closures could be next if the county doesn’t fill its lifeguard openings.

The county operates four pools.

Two are closed right now, but scheduled to open this weekend due to the modified schedule promoted by the lifeguard shortage.

The county currently has 40 lifeguard openings.

Anyone 15 or older can apply.

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A written and skill test is given and applicants will find out if they’re hired on the spot.

Typically, hiring for lifeguards takes place in December but this December the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic affected hiring.

Then apprehension set in about returning to work, and specifically, work involving close-contact with people. Plus, retention. 


Many former lifeguards have decided to work in other industries, according to hiring managers. 

"What we’ve tried to do is make the process really easy this year by making offers on the spot," Communications Division Chief of Prince William County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Amir Wenrich said.

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The county says in the past they hosted job fairs at schools but was h came to this year due to the virtual learning environment.