By Greg Ellison
(June 11, 2020) Since opening pools at the Ocean Pines Yacht and Beach Clubs on a limited basis last weekend, plans now are to expand the list of aquatics facilities to include the Swim and Racquet Club on Friday, followed by Mumford’s Landing next week.
Director of Amenities and Operational Logistics Colby Phillips said people at both spots last weekend abided by the state issued health-safety mandates.
“People have been very respectful and understanding of the situation,” she said.
To maintain a healthy environment at OPA pools during the covid-19 pandemic, patrons are asked to adhere to social-distancing guidelines, with masks required during check-in, while using the bathroom or approaching people outside their own group.
“We’re asking patrons just because they’re around other people in line to wear your mask as you check in,” she said. “We have Plexiglas up to protect our team.”
Masks are not required once inside the pool area or while swimming.
“If you use the restroom, because it’s not a large space, please wear your mask,” she said. “If you’re walking up to another group of people, just out of respect, wear your mask.”
Phillips said at this point access would be limited to residents and pool members to permit accurate contact tracing while monitoring the ongoing pandemic situation.
Facility hours of operation and capacity counts are as follows: Yacht Club pool is open 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for up to 87 people, the Beach Club pool is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for up to 43 people, starting this Friday the Swim and Racquet Club pool will be open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for up to 100 people.
The Mumford’s Landing Pool, which is tentatively slated to open June 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will also have a 100 person capacity with exercise classes held prior and post closing. The Sports Core Pool reopening date remains undecided with plans to limit the facility for exercise classes and lap swimmers.
Due to health department restrictions, the splash pad will not be available at the Swim and Racquet Club pool, also when opened the Mumford’s Landing baby pool will not be in use.
Phillips said the Beach Club and Swim and Racquet locations are available on a first come, first serve basis, but a reservation system has been instituted at the Yacht Club pool. The morning time slot at the Yacht Club runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a second shift running from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. The half-hour downtime is intended to perform a sanitizing regimen.
“We decided to go with the two time slots at the Yacht Club because we are able to have more capacity,” she said. “The Beach Club is a little different, with more walk ups, and is not as crowded in June.”
The off time between shifts at the Yacht Club was also done in light of available food options.
“We want to accommodate the food service so we’re not having people leave when it’s prime lunch time,” she said.
Phillips noted seasonable temperatures since last weekend have helped fill both reservation periods at the Yacht Club.
“We lucked out with some nice weather, so actually our two time slots at the Yacht Club have been getting completely full,” she said.
Phillips said the reservation system would remain in place at the Yacht Club pending further revisions to state health mandates
“Things are always changing,” she said. “We put stuff out and a week later it can change again.”
To inquire about availability at the Yacht Club, pool members are advised to call Sports Core Pool the day before from 1 to 5 p.m.
The Beach Club, Swim & Racquet and Mumford’s Landing pools will be available exclusively for pool members the first hour open. Guests can call the respective facilities to confirm availability.
To maintain stringent contact tracing, all pool attendees will be asked to fill out cards with their name and contact information. Also additional guests will be allowed as people leave.
“As they leave, they’ll let us know and we’ll spray their table down and put the umbrella down so that we know it has been disinfected,” she said. “Periodically, we will still go through and spray off the bathrooms and the ladders.”
Phillips said disinfection schedules will be followed at all pools as turnover happens.
Looking at the bright side of a dark moment, Phillips said the timing was ideal last weekend for instituting stopgap procedures to reopen pools.
“Pools are slower now because it’s June and the water’s not that warm yet, so it’s a good time for us to go through this process,” she said. “More than anything, I’m just glad that we’re open because it gives a little sense of normalcy in this crazy time.”
To reach Swim and Racquet call 410-641-7227, the Yacht Club can be reached at 410-936-0533, the Beach Club at 410-936-0348 and Mumford’s Landing at 410-208-6005.