It’s time to start talking about swimming!
There’s been a lot going on at the pool over the last several months with major renovations, including a completely new mechanical room. The new system is light years ahead of the original and I’m happy to report that everything is functioning very well.
This same mechanical room is the reason the pool has not opened. As part of any major renovation project of this nature, it must be properly planned and permitted. During the start of the COVID crisis, a change order adding new chemical delivery systems was made to the project. This change order was not submitted to the county, and when we had our final inspection earlier this afternoon, we did not pass. So a little drama remains and a few hoops are left to jump through before we will be “official” and able to legally open the facility. I do believe that it is extremely likely that things are going to line up between now and the weekend so… we are planning on proceeding with our opening day this coming Saturday!
The renovation project has been extremely consuming and we were originally informed by King County that we would not be permitted to open until phase 3, so I thought we had another three weeks to prepare. However, last Monday night the governor surprisingly proclaimed that pools could reopen in modified phase 1. There were many new guidelines to address and so we set to work developing new operating procedures and policies based on the new regulations. I also checked with the county for guidance, but they were also caught off guard and still do not have any written guidance. I additionally moved up the aforementioned inspection from its original date, which was set for next week. It has been a whirlwind.
While reopening without county guidance and attempting to gain approval for the new mechanical room system has been a challenge, I have a great deal of confidence in the reopening plan that our team has developed. This plan is based directly on the state regulations for modified phase 1 regarding pools but with more detail and tailoring specific to our facility. We have had to prepare for the opening in a very different way this year and we want to prepare all of you for a different experience at Wedgwood.
What will swimming at Wedgwood be like in the time of COVID19?
One of the major changes this year will be the need to schedule your swim online. Pre-planning your lap swims, or family visit will allow us to serve many members safely, a few people at a time. This will be a difficult change because part of what we love about Wedgwood is the ability to spontaneously drop-in, but it is a sacrifice that will allow us to open the pool.
Our plan focused on staff and member safety. Our desire is to provide opportunity to enjoy the pool while maintaining physical distancing and a high level of sanitation for everyone. The number one goal is to make sure the pool is a safe place to enjoy.
In order to allow members to schedule swims, we will have an online reservation system, OMNIFY. This will allow for the number of members onsite at any one time to be regulated ensuring adherence to social distancing regulations from the State of Washington. Information about the reservation system is listed in more detail below. A master list of emails will be sent to OMNIFY tonight for all full members, and in the next 24-48 hours you should receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to set up your account, username, and password as well as how to sign up family members in your household. Please note that only one email will be sent to each family, and after this initial message, you will then be able to set up other family members with their individual emails as well.
Once we know we have officially passed our inspection with the county, and that we can legally open the pool, another email will be sent and we will open the system up for reservations. Please see the OMNIFY information toward the end of this message.
In addition to social distancing regulations, the state provided guidance on several aspects of pool operations in order to ensure public safety. We want to make sure you are aware of the major changes to our operations in adherence with these regulations. A few of the changes you can expect when you schedule a visit to the pool:
- For the safety of our staff and other pool members, wearing a mask at the pool when you are not in the water is REQUIRED.
- Maintaining social distance at the facility at all times will be imperative.
- To maximize opportunities for members lessons, private lessons, guests, parties and rentals have been suspended.
- Locker rooms will only be available for restroom and handwashing use (Plan on arriving and leaving in your suit).
- Outdoor showers will be available (we have added 2 additional).
- Kick boards, flippers, and pull buoys will not be provided, you may bring your own.
- The diving board, basketball hoop, pool toys, goggle box, and Ping-Pong Table will not be available
- The water fountains will be closed, bring a full water bottle.
- Chairs, lounges, the grills, and tables will not be accessible.
- The upper deck will be closed.
The Wedgwood Pool Board, Management, and Staff ask for the support of the Wedgwood community. Please be patient and kind with staff and other members as we implement COVID-19 protocols to help ensure the pool stays safe and remains open for everyone. We are opening the pool in a phased-in approach where only full members have access through July 6that which point we will be adding our senior and near neighbor members. Currently we are only authorized to schedule adult lap swim, for those 16 and over, with one swimmer per lane. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of our plan and any new guidance from officials. We hope to be able to make adjustments as King County enters new phases of reopening.
Think good thoughts, cross your fingers we get that last thing checked off on our permit and above all, stay well.
OMNIFY swim reservation system
You will receive an email from OMNIFY, our reservation system, with your temporary password and a link to the website. Follow that link to update your account information and add your family members. This email will be your primary email for OMNIFY, and you will receive all communication from OMNIFY to this email. We will notify you when swim reservations are available on OMNIFY.
Important Information about Reservations:
1.You need to reserve a spot for EACH family member who will be entering the pool facility, even if they are not planning to swim. We are currently limited by the total number of people allowed on the pool premises according to state and county guidelines.
2.Each family member will be able to reserve ONE swim per week. In order to maximize the use of the pool for all members we need to limit each person to one swim per week. The software we are using is in the process of creating a way to limit reservations to one per week, however this feature has not arrived yet. We will need your help to self-regulate to one swim per week so that everyone in our Wedgwood Family has the opportunity to use the pool. Thank you!
3. If space is available on the day of a swim session,you will also be able to sign up for an additional swim for the weekstarting at 12:01AM on the day of the swim.
4.Reservation swims are available ONE WEEK in advance.
5.There is a waitlist option for full swims.
4.Currently, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the only swims available are Adult Lap Swim (ages 16 & up).
5.You will need to exit the pool premises at the end of your swim reservation time (i.e., if the swim ends at 6:45am, you will need to exit the grounds by 6:45am) so that the staff has time to sanitize the grounds for the next group of swimmers.
For questions about the reservation system, email Julie Lockhart at: firstname.lastname@example.org call at (252) 628 – 9620
Julie will have office hours Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am-4pm. She will also be answering voicemail messages left at that number.
If you need help setting up your account and making a reservation, please refer to the following forms
Detailed step-by-step instructions for the WW OMNIFY account to set up your account and add family members to reserve a swim reservation:
Omnify Step by Step Instructions
A “cheat sheet” with instructions for the WW OMNIFY Site:
WW Omnify Reservation System Cheat Sheet
We look forward to seeing you at the pool!
Swim reservation manager
Wedgwood Swim Club
(252) 628 – 9620