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Surrey, Coquitlam announce opening dates for outdoor pools; Dr. Henry says more to come soon
Surrey lifeguard station. (City of Surrey)
VANCOUVER -- With summer just around the corner, Surrey and Coquitlam have announced the opening date for outdoor pools in the city.
Some cities in the Lower Mainland postponed the opening days of their outdoor pools because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
But this week, both Surrey and Coquitlam announced they'll start reopening their pools and spray parks soon.
Surrey said t'll start by reopening its spray parks on June 15. Then, 12 days later, outdoor pools at Kwantlen, Bear Creek, Hjorth Road and Greenaway parks will open on June 27. Lifeguarding services will also begin that day at Crescent Beach.
Finally, on July 4, the outdoor pools at Sunnyside, Unwin, Port Kells and Holly parks will open.
"I am so pleased to announce that we have taken the necessary steps to open our outdoor pools, spray parks and beach services for all to use and enjoy," said Mayor Doug McCallum in a news release.
"With the ongoing pandemic, we have made some adjustments to ensure for health and safety, and you can help us by observing physical distancing and bringing your own hand sanitizer with you."
Meanwhile, in Coquitlam, spray parks will also reopen on June 15 and all outdoor pools will reopen on June 27.
Both Eagle Ridge and Spani outdoor pools will operate with pre-registration only and will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thirty-minute lap or leisure swimming sessions will be available for booking and all change rooms will be closed.
During her briefing Tuesday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talked about when pools might reopen province-wide, especially since it's believed by health officials that the virus doesn't transmit well in water.
"That is some of the things that we've learned that this virus doesn't transmit in, especially, chlorinated or ozonated water or salt water," she said.
However, measures will still need to be in place to reduce the number of people going to a pool.
"The risk of course is people coming together around the pool or in the locker room," she said. "So there will need to be measures in place to reduce numbers to make sure that we're not having close contact with people."
Even so, Henry was optimistic that more pools would open "in the coming weeks."
When the pools reopen, public swims and community lessons will be modified in both Surrey and Coquitlam. Visitors can expect reduced swimming capacity, distance markings and monitoring by local officials.