By Tyler Barth
Want to go swimming in Morris Plains this summer? You may have to let the borough know you’re interested first.
The coronavirus outbreak has done a number on most summer activities, and swimming isn’t exempt. Greater Morristown’s five major pools all have instituted a variety of regulations in response to the outbreak.
Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 153 allows for towns to open outdoor pools today, June 22, 2020, provided they can abide by social distancing guidelines.
Morris Plains’ Community Pool is aiming for a June 27th opening — depending on results of a survey to see if the pool should open at all.
“We usually don’t have a problem (with attendance), but given the times, I have to meet a minimum number to open,” said Mayor Jason Karr.
Morris Plains already has called off its summer programs and camps, and whether the pool itself will open will be announced on or before June 25. It comes down to how many people buy pool passes.
If you’d like to take part in the survey, email Karleen Leahey and express your interest in joining the pool this year. Be sure to state the type of membership (Family, Couple, Single, or Senior Single) and whether you live in Morris Plains.
In Morristown, Burnham Pool plans to reopen on June 27 and has laid out guidelines. The town’s Cauldwell Pool also hopes to reopen on that day.
“We have advertised throughout social media, and our town website. In addition, I have purchased banners to hang up at the pool for anyone interested in lifeguarding,” the Morristown Recreation Division said in an email.
If you’re interested in being a lifeguard, mail your papers to Morristown Recreation, 200 South St., 07960 Pay is $11.75 an hour, and Morristown residents get priority. You’ll require lifeguard certification, First Aid certification, CPR and AED.
Cauldwell Pool requires four lifeguards, two per shift, to open at all, according to Amanda Applegate, Morristown’s superintendent of recreation.
Morristown also looking is looking to hire pool sanitizers. This position pays $10.50 an hour.
The Ginty and Streeter pools in Morris Township do not have reopening dates yet, according to Bill Foelsch, the municipal recreation director. These will be announced later this week.
As for local lakes, swimmers will have to wait until next year. Sunrise Lake, the only lake in Morris County at which the Morris County Park Commission permits swimming, will not be open at all, according to Rich Vitale, deputy executive director for the commission.
“Sunrise Lake will remain closed for the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Vitale in a very short statement. Vitale recommends looking for other options on your hometown’s website or nj.gov.
Before you go swimming, here are rules you’ll have to keep in mind. Pools will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity, and of course, pool-goers must stay six feet apart.
Pool lanes will be available, but at a “very limited” capacity, and swimmers in the lanes will be on time limits. Additionally, all benches and tables will be unavailable, and pool goers will be restricted to their personal lawn chairs.
According to State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, pools are asked to require pool goers over the age of 2 to wear face coverings while out of the water, but to take them off in the water. Lifeguards are not permitted to wear masks. Lastly, everyone must have their temperature screened on entry, and anyone with a temperature over 100.4°F will not be permitted to enter.
Pool employees will be screened at the beginning and end of the day. Pools must have hand sanitizer stations, and pool toys are prohibited.
Want to sign up for a pool pass at the township pools? Sign up using this form. Walk-in admissions are not permitted at Ginty and Streeter.