I am happy that we are all working together to be able to utilize our community resources during COVID-19. As with any new paradigm there needs to be some clarity to the rules. The rules that we are 2operating under are specific and rigorous; set by the Washington State Department of Health. Regardless of your viewpoint on the rules, we are bound to them as an entity that is monitored by the Health Department. Which is to say, our adherence to them is not optional. Not only is our adherence not optional but mandatory – mandatory, meaning – if we are not in compliance the health department will shut us down.
The pool committee has been working very hard to make sure our collective resources are available for use to our community members – and the rules we are operating under are not our own. These are unprecedented times, and we are working diligently to make it work.
Here is a list of items that need to be addressed under these rules.
1) First off, I would like to remind people that we are still in Phase 2 – This means we can have small group lessons (5 or less) and appointment only lap swim. We have sectioned off our pool into 3 sections for your family to swim as a small group. Please keep this in mind through the time we are in phase 2.
2) Be mindful with your exit times - When you sign up for pool time, please keep in mind – there is a family that is coming directly behind you to utilize their pool time too. Last week my daughter Audrey did what most 5 year old’s do, and slow rolled her exit from the pool to maximize her time, but as she wouldn’t know, at the expense of the family coming after mine. Parents – Please anticipate your time to exit needs and adhere accordingly. There are 2 aspects to this. 1) The guards need time to wipe down high contact surfaces – it’s a Washington State Health Department requirement – and we can not ignore it. 2) It is for your protection. Moving slowly – as we all did “Pre-COVID” – simply is not going to work with the new paradigm.
3) Extend family and guests are not allowed to utilize our facilities - Our interpretation of the rules is that we are only allowed to utilize the pool in family groups within our community. This, unfortunately, means no guests. You may not take your neighbors kids. I understand that in many cases our children are already socialized together within our smaller community elements – but our interpretation if this is set to mitigate some risk to the HOA in general. When there is some ambiguity then we choose the most conservative option to mitigate risk. Unfortunately, this includes grandchildren. We have a generous policy of allowing extended families to utilize the facilities and that rule will remain in place, but unfortunately not during COVID-19. If you are attempting to come to the pool with people that do not actually live in your home every day, then they are not allowed to come and use our facility during this time, - this includes swim lessons.
4) Do not game the system – We are only a week or so into this. The system is fragile and angling to gain more pool time complicates the process. There are many of you who have already figured out how to do this, and while the board wants to keep it fair, it generates a lot of work. It is unfair to those in our community that are just learning the system. Frankly, I find this aspect of what we are trying to do completely against the goals of the board and the pool. We want to maximize pool access to everyone in our community. Not just a few families. Everyone who has access to the pool has paid the same amount to utilize the resource. Let’s be clear:
a. You may book pool time 14 days in advance.
b. You may book one pool time per week. Weeks are defined as Monday – Sunday.
c. You may book pool time on the-day-of if there is an open space; it will not count against you. We do not have the ability to limit the time off booking- but if we could, we would limit it to 8am. Keep that in mind.
d. You may book time for your home/family unit only. See rule 2.
5) We cannot accommodate deck space – The state has limitations on deck space and in the pool – there is too much diversity in the sizes of family groups to allow for someone to come in and not utilize the pool. If you desire to soak up the sun, I suggest you bring a lawn chair and sit in the field. We simply do not have the bandwidth to account for deck use Vs pool use.
6) We are not accepting pool parties currently- It is what it is. This may open in the future – but we are in a learning phase right now. Once we get some experience and determine how to facilitate pool parties, we will consider it.
7) Please respect the 6-foot rule – when we are waiting for our kids to come out of swim lessons – please stand 6 feet apart and wear a mask.
Overall, I think our pool staff is handling this as well as can be expected. Ashley and her guard staff have worked very hard to make sure we can utilize our pool resource. I respect the fact that this is likely the closest thing our community has had that could be considered “normal” in many months. I also recognize that we all want to go back to the way it was. We simply cannot. There are certain aspects of this that we cannot avoid, and we are all in this together – except 6 feet apart. I would respectfully ask our community to rally around what we have and do our best to respect each other and the rules so we can move on to larger and less restrictive pool times. There are many nuances to this, and we cannot address them all, but we can continue to use our pool if we all try to abide by the rules we must operate under.
I am proud that we were the fist pool in our area to open. I am proud that many of the local HOAs are using our work to also open their facilities. I am proud that we can all come together and make this work for our entire community.
Lastly, please have grace and patience with Ashley and all pool staff as we navigate this new system. Guards are young adults who are working extremely hard to make this a pleasant experience for the whole community.
Hit me with comments or questions @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Kingsgate 3&4 President