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Sioux City swimming pools to remain closed due to COVID-19
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Sioux City swimming pools to remain closed due to COVID-19

Riverside Aquatic Center

Children swim at the Riverside Aquatic Center in Sioux City in 2017. The city announced Wednesday that its pools will not open for regular operations this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SIOUX CITY -- Sioux City residents may need to find another way to beat the heat this summer than by taking a dip in the pool.

The city's parks and recreation department Wednesday said Sioux City's three swimming pools -- Leif Erikson Pool, Lewis Pool and Riverside Family Aquatic Center -- will not open for regular operations this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city's splash pads also will remain closed.

"We continue to evaluate a variety of scenarios in which pools may open in some capacity and will only move forward if it is safe to do so for our patrons and staff," a news release from Sioux City Parks and Recreation said.

Earlier Wednesday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an order that would allow swimming pools in the state to reopen on Friday for lap swimming and lessons. The order also allows indoor movie theaters, zoos and museums to reopen with restrictions on Friday, and bars may resume operations May 28.

Sioux City continues to explore options that would allow for swimming lessons and fitness classes at its pools. Lesson for levels 1-3 would require a guardian or caregiver to be in the water with the swimmer because the instructor teaches from the pool deck. Fitness classes would be set up to keep at least 6 feet of space between participants at all times.

The city will announce by June 2 if it will offer a shortened season of lessons and fitness classes, the news release said.

The city said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for swimming pools that recommend swimmers keep at least 6 feet apart. That would not be possible with an open swimming format, the city said.

The city is also following National Recreation and Park Association recommendations to keep the splash pads closed because the facilities have a high number of frequent touch points and no controls over social distancing.

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