Swimmers at Raco-Theodore

Swimmers compete at Raco Theodore Pool in 2011 during an event hosted by the Manchester Swim Team.

MANCHESTER — All Manchester city swimming pools will be closed this summer, officials announced Thursday, even though CDC guidelines do not call for outright pool shutdowns and only advise for social distancing at pools.

The pools are among a number of park activities — some that provide summer job opportunities for youth — that will be cancelled for the summer because of COVID-19. Others are the Fun in the Sun day camp program; Gill Stadium, which hosts youth baseball; and JFK Coliseum.

The city operates three pools — Livingston, Raco-Theodore and Hunt — as well as a splash pad at Dupont Park. They will be closed for the summer, the city said in a two-page announcement that attributed the actions to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But CDC guidelines say pools are an excellent means of physical activity and recommend users maintain proper spacing in pools.

“There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the water. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (with chlorine or bromine) of pools should kill COVID-19,” the CDC guidelines say. The guidelines encourage social distancing and discourages large gatherings.

A telephone call to city Parks Director Mark Gomez was not immediately returned.

The city did provide a ray of hope for some activities. It did not rule out opening up basketball courts, playgrounds, tennis courts, pickle ball courts, the Derryfield Fit Lot and Crystal Lake Beach. But for now they are closed until further notice.

Athletic fields are not available for organized activities or reservations, but the city said they can be used in accordance with CDC guidelines. Those call for social distancing and hand washing.

“Please note that guidance may change as circumstances surrounding COVID-19 evolve,” the notice reads.

Meanwhile, two activities that cater to older people — golfing and disc golf — have opened up.

Derryfield Country Club opened May 11, and The Hollows disc golf courses remain open. Users of both are expected to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

The city notice said that parks cannot host events of more than 10 people. There will be no tent at Veterans Park this summer, and all park restrooms are closed until further notice.

“We know that fresh air and exercise are essential to both physical and mental health. We do encourage you to have fun in Manchester’s parks this summer, but we ask that you do so responsibly and with consideration for others,” the notice reads.


Thursday, June 04, 2020