MWR, senior leaders continue to assess COVID-19 risks
At this time of year, families are usually gearing up for summer, including plans to swim or lounge by their local community swimming pool. However, in many locations across the country in the age of COVID-19, questions have arisen over when swimming pools will open this year – or if they will open at all.
On military installations like Fort Leonard Wood, it’s a matter of weighing risk against the resumption of services. While senior leaders have approved the reopening of some facilities with new safety and social-distancing measures, such as the golf course and fitness centers, swimming pools are a trickier subject, according to Megan O’Donoghue, Fort Leonard Wood Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Services and Support chief.
“As for MWR pools, according to risk assessments done at Installation Management Command, they are considered a higher-risk activity,” O’Donoghue said Tuesday.
O’Donoghue said FMWR officials have provided a recovery framework plan for reopening all facilities – including swimming pools – to the post’s senior leaders.
“Family and MWR, in step with garrison command, are continuing to reassess our MWR facilities and programs daily to determine what steps must be taken to mitigate risk prior to reopening all our facilities,” O’Donoghue said. “Reopening MWR programs will be done in a phased approached and in accordance with the commanding general and the garrison commander’s guidance.”
Fort Leonard Wood’s pools include Wallace Pool and Splash Park, which is part of the Rec Plex complex located at 5561 Constitution Ave., and the indoor pool at Davidson Fitness Center. The Lieber Heights Outdoor Pool, located at 8220 Turner Street, has been closed since 2018.
If and when swimming pools reopen, customers will likely be required to practice effective social distancing and possibly take other steps to ensure the safety of all patrons.
“MWR will do everything possible at all our facilities to keep our customers safe following the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidance, including additional sanitizing, limiting occupancy to be able to maintain social distancing, face-covering where applicable, etc.,” O’Donoghue said. “Our only concern is first and foremost the safety of our patrons and team members. We know that everyone will be socially responsible and do what is necessary to keep themselves, their families and our community safe and healthy.”