Civic Center pool

Gallatin’s outdoor pool will not reopen until social distancing guidelines are eased, according to city officials. FILE

Gallatin will not open the city’s outdoor pool for the summer season this weekend due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The complex, which is located at the Gallatin Civic Center, is normally open each year from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

“I don’t see us reopening the pool until the social distancing guidelines are relaxed because we just can’t control groups of kids in a big swimming pool,” Mayor Paige Brown said Tuesday afternoon. “It is not going to be open within the next week.”

Park officials hope to be able to reopen the facility by the first of July. If not, it will remain closed for the year.

Last year, the outdoor pool had a total of 30,351 visits, according to data from the Gallatin Parks and Recreation Department. 

On Friday, Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group announced its plan to issue new guidelines this week to facilitate the safe reopening of larger, non-contact attractions such as racetracks, amusement parks, waterparks, theaters and dinner theaters, auditoriums and large museums beginning May 22. However, no specific guidelines and capacity restrictions had been released as of Wednesday morning.

“Tennesseans have worked incredibly hard to do their part and help slow the spread of COVID-19 so that our state can begin to reopen,” Gov. Bill Lee said in a prepared statement May 15. “Thanks to their continued efforts, we’re able to allow restaurants and retail businesses to operate at greater capacity and large attractions to open in a safe and thoughtful way.”

Gallatin City Hall and other city buildings like the Civic Center reopened to the public on Monday after being closed since late March.

In addition to more cleaning being done, Brown said hand sanitizer and masks are also available for visitors to use if they want.

“I don’t think anybody knows when exactly the right time is (to reopen), but we felt like we had the right supplies, the right protocols and the right plan in place,” Brown added. “We wanted to get open so that people could come here if they needed to.

“We will continue to provide those opportunities for people to conduct business via phone, online or via email because the less exposure that everybody has the less risk there is.”

At the Civic Center, the fitness room, free weights and walking track are open while the indoor pool, basketball courts, racquetball courts, meeting rooms, locker rooms and drinking fountains remain closed. All visitors will have their temperature checked before entering the facility and will not be allowed inside if they have a fever.

Public city meetings will also continue to be held electronically through June. Earlier this month, Lee issued Executive Order 34, which allows local governing bodies to continue to meet electronically through June 30.

Brown has also extended Gallatin’s state of emergency declaration for another week through May 26. The decision allows her existing executive orders – suspending utility disconnections and halting door to door solicitations citywide – to remain active.

As of Tuesday, Sumner County has had 768 confirmed cases of COVID-19 along with 41 deaths and 358 recoveries, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. Statewide, there have been 18,378 confirmed cases, 305 deaths and 10,969 recoveries.

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