Private pools cope with new guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic

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Emily Schwank, Intern

While many public pools in Temecula, Murrietta, and Menifee remain closed, many private pools owned by the local homeowners associations have reopened and implemented new guidelines regarding pool use to assure the safety of their residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Harveston Community Pool in Temecula officially reopened June 18 with new rules and regulations to ensure safe usage. It is open for 12 hours a day; residents must schedule a time to visit the pool and are only allocated two hours. They must fill out a “Liability Waiver and Release” form every time they want to visit, a concept common throughout many newly reopened pools. Residents are required to wear masks in the common areas, such as the lakehouse lobby or any time that safe distancing is not possible, but are permitted to take them off at any other time. When in the pool, 6 feet of distance must be kept between parties and residents are unable to use the drinking fountains and showers. Also, residents are encouraged to disinfect surfaces that they come in contact with upon their arrival and departure. Naomi, a pool ambassador comments that the residents are excited and “angry that [the pool is] not back to normal.”

Similar regulations are in place at Menifee’s Tierra Shores. The community’s pool has been open for over a month, and as of June 1, the pool is open for 8 hours a day. Residents are recommended to make a reservation before arriving, but walk-ins are allowed depending on availability. Staff will sanitize the area every few hours, during which the pool must be evacuated. Pool forms must be filled out before visiting. Masks are required when residents sign into the pool and when walking around the pool area; however, masks are not required when sitting by the pool or when swimming.

In Murrieta, the Central Park pool reopened July 1. The HOA specifies that only residents are allowed, no guests and those not in the pool must wear a mask. The pool is open for nine hours a day, from 10 .m. to 7 p.m. and will be closed every hour for a 30 minute cleaning. Only 30 people are allowed in the pool at a time and residents do not need to make an appointment to come. Not everyone is excited about the reopenings; Rikhav, a resident in Central Park, believes that “reopening of the local pool…puts the community at unnecessary risk” and the pool “should not reopen until COVID-19 cases drastically decline.”

Emily Schwank can be reached by email at valleystaff@reedermedia.com.