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Natchez Adams County Public Pool scheduled to reopen

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Adams County Public Pool is scheduled to reopen on June 22 under new guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the requirements from the CDC for public pools to reopen include requiring patrons to wear masks in close proximity, having temperature checks before patrons and staff enter the facility and encouraging patrons and staff to wash their hands often and cover their coughs and sneezes.

On June 1, the Vicksburg City Pool reopened for limited lap swimming and swim team practices.

“I went up to Vicksburg last week,” said Jimmy Ware, chairman of the Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission. “We have not opened up lap swimming yet.”

Sophia Bennett and Hannah Russell have been lifeguarding at the Natchez Adams County Public Pool since it opened in 2018.

“I think we are going to try and make the pool as normal as possible with a couple of restrictions,” Bennett said.

To ensure the public pool is ready for reopening Ware said the lifeguards have made sure to clean the lounge chairs, organize the lifeguards’ back closet and are cleaning the pool and the deck.

Cate Drane, who is starting her second year of being a lifeguard at the Natchez Adams County Public Pool, said she believes it is important to have the public pool open.

“I know a lot of people are scared of the virus,” Drane said. “This is a place where people can relax and take their mind off of the world right now. There’s no need to have stress or anxiety over it, so they can come out here and relax.”

Russell said it is good to have the pool reopened because she will have something to enjoy this summer.

In the meantime, the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen during a Tuesday meeting, agreed to begin the process of starting work to add a heater, pool cover and dressing rooms and lockers. That work, however, should not interfere with summer activities at the pool.

On Tuesday aldermen unanimously agreed to request bids from area contractors for approximately $400,000 for the pool improvements, including a heater and cover for the pool to extend its seasonal use and lockers and showers for swim teams.

Community Development Director James Johnston said he anticipates the work would have minimal impact on swimming activities.

Johnston said he expects bids for the gas heater and cover to be received on June 22 and one approved by the Board of Aldermen the following evening during their regularly scheduled meeting.

Bids for the lockers and showers should be received in late July or early August, Johnston said.

Ware said the pool is currently hiring lifeguards to be prepared for the reopening. Anyone interested in being a lifeguard should call 601-653-0473.

CDC requirements for a public pool to open

  • Masks are required when in close proximity to others.
  • Temperature checks will be performed on all individuals before entering facility.
  • Encourage all staff, patrons and swimmers to wash their hands often and cover their coughs and sneezes.
  • Ensure adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene. Supplies include soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer), paper towels, tissues and no-touch trash cans.
  • Post signs about how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures and properly use a cloth face covering in highly visible locations. For example, at deck entrances and at sinks.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (handrails, slides, lounge chairs, tabletops, pool noodles, door handles, showers and surfaces of restrooms).