The City of Covington has declared "the coronavirus pandemic is ending the summer pool season...even before it begins."
The city's Board of Commissioners decided this week that they will not extend the annual management and operations contract for the Goebel Pool or the pool at Randolph Park, nor the Latonia Water Park & Splash Pad.
"What with the contract and staff time, we'd be making close to a quarter-of-a-million-dollar gamble with no guarantee that we could salvage even part of what is already a short swim season," said Neighborhood Services Director Ken Smith in a release. "That's a huge investment of money and staff time that would in all likelihood be wasted."
The contract would have cost the city $186,000, not counting staff or materials to run the pools from Memorial Day to mid-August, they say.
According to the release, "Health experts and computer models generally agree that the peak of the coronavirus in Kentucky is at least a couple of weeks away and that the illness will remain a serious concern for months — with the possibility of a second wave later in the summer. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread in properly maintained pools given that chlorine should make the virus inactive. But they caution that Kentuckians can't abandon that practice anytime soon or risk a spike in cases."
The Northern Kentucky Health Department said social distancing tactics appear to be working in slowing the spread of the virus, but they can't be given up anytime soon.
"We learn more every day about the lasting impacts of this crisis and continue to look for opportunities to bring fun, wellness and connectivity to Covington residents and visitors, but health and safety is our primary goal." said Covington Parks & Recreation Manager Rosie Santos. "We will get through this and look forward to a time in the near future where we can be together again, enjoying our parks and recreation services."