MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - One of the Mid-Ohio Valley's most-popular summertime attractions will not open in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
The Marietta Aquatic Center could have opened for the summer season on May 26, but city leaders said Wednesday afternoon that it would be feasible to open the facility under new guidelines that are part of the RestartOhio plan.
“This was not an easy decision,"said Steve Wetz, Marietta's safety-service director. "People need to understand the mandatory guidelines from ODH (Ohio Department of Health) have really tied our hands.
"Only a small number of people would be allowed in at a time. At least two full-time people would be necessary – just for extra cleaning and sanitizing. 'How would a lifeguard safely perform a rescue?' We had to consider every angle.”
The city said many factors were considered when making the decision, including the difficulty of enforcing federal social-distancing rules for large groups "and the impracticality of disinfecting frequently enough to confidently stop the spread of the virus in dressing rooms and restrooms, pool ladders, slides, lounge chairs and the concession area."
The city also said It would not be "financially practical to plan to offer a shortened or modified season" because of fixed costs associated with preparing the pool to open.