News Flash

CW NewsFlash

Posted on: May 8, 2020

UPDATED May 22 - Canal Winchester Announces 2020 Pool Closure, June Concert Cancellation

Announcement Image

UPDATE May 22, 2020, 3:00 p.m. - On May 8, the City of Canal Winchester announced that our pools would be closed for the 2020 season. We made this decision after much thought and discussion.  We reviewed all pandemic-related restrictions meant to limit the spread of COVID-19.  We determined at that time that operation of the pool under such restrictions would pose numerous unavoidable practical challenges.  Such challenges would not only make daily operation difficult, but would severely and negatively impact the enjoyment of pool users.  We regretfully informed the public that, in light of these mounting challenges and in the interest of public health, the pool would remain closed through the 2020 season.

On May 14, Governor DeWine announced that local jurisdictions who operate public pool facilities could choose to open their respective public pools on May 26, and that the Ohio Department of Health would be sharing sector-specific operational guidance in the coming days.  The City of Canal Winchester informed residents that we would review such guidance and related restrictions when made available, and would revisit our decision regarding the pool.

On May 15, the Ohio Governor’s Office and the Ohio Department of Health published sector-specific operating requirements for public pools and aquatic centers as part of the Responsible RestartOhio plan. 
  • The requirements for operation of public pools and aquatic centers included mandatory general operating instructions, communication instructions, maintenance and cleaning procedures, operational modifications including capacity limitations, rules for customer interaction, and requirements for social distancing – including prohibiting swimming or gathering of groups of no more than 10 persons and no gatherings of groups from different households.
On May 20, Franklin County Public health released an advisory statement for pool operators within their health jurisdiction, strongly advising pools not to open this year.
  • For pool operators choosing to open, the health department published (in addition to the guidance and mandatory requirements named in the Responsible RetartOhio Initiative) further requirements applicable to operators of public swimming pools within their jurisdiction.
In light of all available information and mandatory requirements noted, and in consideration of public health and safety, the City of Canal Winchester reaffirms our decision to keep our municipal pool closed this season.
We understand that a summer without the pool operating is unpopular as well as unprecedented.  We share in the disappointment our residents feel regarding this decision.  We look forward to the end of the coronavirus pandemic and we look forward to seeing everyone at the pool next year.

UPDATE May 14, 2020, 3:45 p.m. - Today, Governor DeWine announced that local jurisdictions who operate public pool facilities may choose to open their respective public pools on May 26. Earlier this month, the City of Canal Winchester announced that our pools would be closed for the 2020 season. We made this decision based on the knowledge we had at the time, and in consideration of numerous practical challenges related to operating safely and effectively during the pandemic.

We care deeply about our community – and that means we consider not only the health and safety of our residents, but also their quality of life. With this in mind, we will carefully review the written guidance from the State Department of Health, including operational restrictions, when it becomes available. We will make an additonal statement about 2020 pool operations only after doing so.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in consideration of public health, the City of Canal Winchester will not open the Canal Winchester Municipal Pool during the 2020 season.  The City has also decided to cancel its summer kick-off event, “Music in the Park”, which had been scheduled for June 19.  Events scheduled for July and August remain under discussion at this time. 

“It’s hard to think of summer starting without families at the pool or a concert at Stradley Park, but the health and safety of our community is our top priority,” said Mayor Mike Ebert.  “The pool will be closed this year and we’ll have to postpone some events, and hopefully, we’ll be able to return to normal operations in 2021.”

In recent weeks, the Ohio Governor’s office unveiled its new Responsible RestartOhio Plan.  The plan consists of a phased reopening of most business sectors throughout the state, with newly outlined recommendations for operating safely.  To date, however, the plan does not lift restrictions limiting public gatherings to 10 people or less.  

Additionally, as of May 7, 2020, operation of public swimming pools is prohibited in the state. In light of such restrictions and in consideration of suggested social distancing practices meant to limit the spread of COVID-19, City officials determined that keeping the pool closed through the 2020 season would be in the best interest of public health.

Note: In addition to City-sponsored closures and cancellations, organizers of other local events have also recently reported operational changes or cancellation of upcoming 2020 activities, including:

  • VFW Post #10523’s Memorial Day Ceremony in Canal Winchester, set for May 25, has been canceled.
  • Destination: Canal Winchester recently announced cancellation of several events, including Art on the Canal in May and the Canal Winchester Blues & Ribfest in July.
  • Canal Winchester’s Relay for Life event organizers will host Relay activities, scheduled for June 27, virtually this year, allowing teams to connect online rather than in person.  Additional details are expected in the coming weeks.