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Area officials weigh-in on reopening pools

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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) On a hot June day many of us would already be making our way toward our local pool.

However, that is not possible right now at most places because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it might be soon.

Earlier this week one Wausau committee voted to open two of the three city pools.

"After hearing the discussion and arguments from the life guard group and the willingness they have to take seriously the precautions we need to have in place I became 52 percent in favor of reopening," said Pat Peckham a Wausau City Alderman and a member of the Wausau Public Health and Safety committee.

Though it isn't a sure thing yet, safety is a hot topic.

"Nothing is 100 percent but there are certain factors in this that make it less risky like being outside and the chemicals in the pool," said Judy Burrows of the Marathon County Health Department.

"I don't think they will allow any changing at the facility you will have to come in a swimming suit and leave in a swimming suit," Peckham said.

If the Wausau pools do open the capacity will be cut in half.

At Kaiser pool 125 people will be allowed.

At Memorial there will be 100 people at once, and at Shulenberg only 105 are allowed at once.

"We have an obligation for the community and patrons that use the facility if I didn't think we could do this safely I would not be in the position I am right now," Peckham said.

However, it is not clear which two of those pools would be open.

Meanwhile at the Weston Aquatic Center work is already underway to open up.

They usually allow up to 800 people but when they open they tell News 9 they will only allowed about 200 people.

They also say they will not require masks.

However, the Wausau Public Health and Safety committee says if they do open you will be required to wear one at all times except when you are in the pool.

That committee will discuss the issue Thursday afternoon.

Then the full city council will make a decision on June 9th.

Victoria Saha

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