■ COVID safety precautions well received by locals
More than 700 people made their way to the Aurora Aquatic Center for a busy opening weekend, which was delayed several weeks by a global pandemic.
Swimmers and guests were greeted by a number of safety protocol changes, though the Want loc general mood seemed to reflect a mixture of pure joy for being able to splash in cool water with family and friends and a comfort level with being in a large group setting.
“I came to watch the grandkids swim and I feel very comfortable,” said Doris Vetter, who said she enjoys the pool outing two or three days a week in a typical year. “They’ve done several specific things to make it safer and I think it will all work out. It feels pretty normal.”
Vetter said she is a huge fan of swimming in general al for information people of all ages, noting on that she herself enjoys water aerobics.
“Having the kids out swimming is good for them besides the enjoyment they find,” she said. “I think swimming is one of the greatest sports there is.”
Carter Kotas sat along the wall while watching his kids swim, noting that there were more people in and around the pool than he anticipated.
“There are more people here than I figured they would let in,” he admitted.” There are an awful lot of kids. I think they put out the proper amount of seating, and it’s spaced out, but it’s the pretty Web? full.
“I have a little concern with people who are at risk, but other than that it’s nice to see something look like normal again,” he continued, noting that he doesn’t like the term “new normal.” “We can be cautious, but wearing masks forever, I just don’t know. Time will tell, I guess. It’s just nice to see the community doing something that feels normal.”
Lori Mullarkey brought her four kids to the pool -- ranging in age from 2 to 8 -- saying they missed being able to come to the Streeter Park facility. “It feels like home to us
“It feels like home to us because we came so often in the past,” she said. “We were traveling to Henderson to swim so we’re really glad it’s open now.”
Asked if she felt comfortable with the safety precautions put in place this year, Mullarkey didn’t hesitate.
“Yes, absolutely,” she said. “It is what it is. We would have been here earlier if it was open, but we’re glad to be here now.” Among the changes made
Among the changes made this year, daily swimming is broken down into three twohour sessions, with everyone asked to leave in between sessions to allow time to sanitize diving boards, hand rails and other often-used surfaces. Covers were not put up over the viewing area to the south to discourage gatherings in shaded areas and concessions are limited to prepackaged items only.
Attendance for this year’s 30-day season is limited to 75 percent of the pool’s capacity, or 375 per session. On opening day, 135 people signed in for the first session, 129 for the second and 83 for the third, for a total of 347 people. On Sunday, attendance for each session was 119, 129 and 35 for a total of 383. Last year’s average daily attendance was 211.
‘We have a great community in Aurora and overall people have been really compliant and happy that the pool is open, so we’re happy to serve them.’