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St. Charles to open first pool in area during pandemic

“To sanitize the tubes after you get out of the lazy river before somebody else uses that tube. We have several protocols put into place"

ST CHARLES, Mo. —

The St. Charles Department of Parks and Recreation will open the first of its three aquatic facilities Saturday morning, as scheduled.

The Wapelhorst pool opening will mark the first in the area during the pandemic. 

St. Charles parks and rec director Maralee Britton said it was a decision made from weeks of research and collaboration.

“It’s been a whole team of us sitting around a table talking through all of this,” Britton said. “Getting special assignments, and then going back with excel spreadsheets conducting research. And then bringing that plan and that proposal to our parks and recreation board who said, ‘You’ve put forth a great plan. We believe you can do this.’”

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To attend the Wapelhorst facility, you must be a season pass holder, a St. Charles city resident, or you must get a St. Charles parks and rec passport online

“The easiest way is to get your parks passport card in advance,” Britton said. “But if not, just bring a current driver’s license. We’ll check it at the door to make sure you are one of the city’s residents.”

The facility’s staff will be monitoring lines and checking the driver’s license through an online database by using iPads. 

The Wapelhorst facility will open with a limited capacity through May 31.

“We’re opening at 25%, which is 200 people,” Britton said. “Normally we would have 800 people in our facility.”

All 156 chairs around the pool are spread apart at least 6 feet to follow social distancing guidelines, as recommended.

Lines have been drawn on the concrete to ensure social distancing is easily followed for the lazy river, slides, concession stands and restrooms. 

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The department has also hired a new cleaning team, which was solely created to make sure all high-touch points are kept properly sanitized.

“To hit the restrooms more frequently than we normally would,” Britton said. “To sanitize the tubes after you get out of the lazy river before somebody else uses that tube. We have several protocols put into place to help keep people extra safe.”

The St. Charles Department of Parks and Recreation will open its second pool, the Blanchette Aquatic Facility, on May 30.

The third location, the McNair Aquatic Facility, will open in June.

Britton added that the staff will monitor pool safety and adjust rules, if needed.

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