Some will have new restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Swimmers won’t have to wait too much longer to get back in the water.

Stark County-area public pools are making plans to open this summer, though with some new restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Pools planning to open

Dogwood Pool in North Canton will open by July 1 at the latest, said Ben Wheeler, executive director of the North Canton YMCA.

The pool on Seventh Street NE is managed by the YMCA and is a joint venture between the organization and the city.

“We’re looking forward to a great summer. We know it’s delayed in opening, but we’re going to do it right and we’re going to do it safe,” Wheeler said.

The YMCA is working with the Stark County Health Department and the city to determine protocols. They’re also working on a plan for reduced membership rates to compensate for a shorter season.

Opening a pool always comes with safety considerations, but this year pools have the added task of ensuring swimmers and staff can stay healthy and avoid the virus, Wheeler said.

The YMCA plans to have a definitive opening date and protocols in place by Friday, he said.

Managers at Baylor Beach Park in Sugarcreek Township thought the waterfront had to stay shut — since it isn’t a pool — but learned Saturday they could welcome swimmers back.

Now they’re scrambling to reopen.

The biggest issue is lifeguards, President Dave Baylor said. When everything was closed, Baylor Beach couldn’t have hands-on lifeguard classes in the spring like usual.

Those will happen soon, as the beach plans to be back in operation in about two weeks. (There’s no firm reopening date yet.)

“We were preparing not to open this summer, the way they had it going,” Baylor said.

Open pools

Lake Township’s Clearwater Park at Akron-Canton Jellystone Park had 245 visitors on Tuesday, the first day pools were allowed to open.

Alex Burkett, director of marketing and office administrator, said the decision to reopen was easy once it was clear it could be done safely.

“We saw this as a great opportunity to have a safe activity for families to enjoy together and for people to just come and forget about the virus,” he said.

Social distancing precautions are in place, however, and occupancy is being watched closely.

There’s not a set number, Burkett said, but management will make a decision about whether or not social distancing is still able to be practiced. Guests are encouraged to call ahead to make sure they’ll be able to get in.

Meadowlake Golf and Swim in Canton also opened its pool Tuesday, after consultation with the city health department about how to keep people safe.

Social distancing signage is hung up, the restrooms and lounge chairs are frequently sanitized and groups are expected to stay separated.

President Philip Barr said staff fielded lots of phone calls during Memorial Day weekend because of the heat.

The pool has been busy since the reopening, and things are going well.

“Most people are pretty good at policing themselves,” he said.

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