MANASSAS, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - It’s official: Prince William County outdoor pools will remain closed all summer long.
“We’re deeply regretful we had to make this decision,” said Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Director Seth Hendler-Voss. “We looked at it from every angle and we just couldn’t find a safe way forward.”
The decision ultimately came down to safety.
Hendler-Voss said the county has about 300 lifeguards for their six outdoor pools, and training all of those people in close-quarters is just too much of a risk. He added that it would be difficult to keep the public safe this summer as well, especially outside of the pool at lounging areas, concessions areas, and more.
“We have aquatic staff who live for this time of the year, they build up to this time, and it’s been hard for all of us, but we know it’s the right decision because it’s going to keep our lifeguards safe, it’s going to keep our community safe,” Hendler-Voss said Thursday night.
Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images)
Prince William County resident Isaac Thompson said he was disappointed in the decision but understood it. “
It’s a little sad to see that it won’t be open this year,” he explained outside of the Splashdown Waterpark in Manassas. “Hard to see it empty, hard to see just no energy going on. It just feels like there’s a lot less energy in the world nowadays due to the coronavirus.”
Some tough calls are being made elsewhere, too.
In Fairfax County, they’ve announced some pools will be closed all summer.
In Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, pools will remain closed until further notice.
Meanwhile, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to make an announcement about the District’s pools Friday morning.