Chandler residents enjoy public pools to cool off during Memorial Day
CHANDLER, Ariz. - Memorial Day is known as the unofficial start to summer and there's nothing like cooling off on a hot summer day like jumping in the pool.
Children in Chandler had a chance to do that Monday as it's opening day for some of the pools in the city.
City pools and water parks are typically packed with people on Memorial Day, but not this year due to the pandemic. Only a handful of pools across the valley were open to the public Monday, but none in Phoenix.
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The Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center had hundreds of people come out earlier in the day to enjoy a rare occasion these days, sliding and splashing around a water park.
It was a refreshing break from being cooped up at home, for both children and parents alike. Many families were already lined up to get into the pool by noon, when the doors opened.
"The kids have been inside pretty much or the full past two months and we feel pretty good with the precautions the pool has taken," said Brandy Brooks, Chandler resident.
Mark Foote, city of Chandler Aquatics Superintendent, says normally on Memorial Day weekend, the city sees about 700 people. This year, the city capped capacity at 180 people day, which they hit for the last 3 days.
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Families had to make reservations in advance and could only stay for up to two hours. Chandler residents were given priority.
City officials say the new social and operating guidelines were explained to pool goers, encouraging families to keep at least 6 feet away from each other. Ultimately, it was up to parents and guardians to enforce their space.
"We’re going to educate and make sure people understand what the regulations are. We’re not necessarily policing them once they come in," Foote said.
Chandler pools will open up again for public swim this weekend. They plan to stay open on the weekends, at least throughout summer.
Gilbert has opened all of its pools to residents.
All of Phoenix’s pools remain closed until the city council votes on it, meaning they’ll remained closed for at least another month.
Mesa plans to open up some of its pools for public swimming in early June.