Officials in the city of Portsmouth are planning to open the Peirce Island Outdoor Pool for the summer season on June 21.

The pool will be open to city residents from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week and no reservations are required. Admission is free.

City Manager Karen Conard said they are opening the pool with a sense of both optimism and caution.

"The biggest concern right now is that children under 12 are still not able to be vaccinated. As a community, we still need to be looking out for those who for whatever reason cannot be vaccinated and are at risk for contracting or transmitting COVID-19 to the vulnerable," Conard said in a statement.

Conard added that data suggests being outside this summer is a good choice.

The following safety precautions will be in place:

 

-Chairs will be set out on the deck in groups and visitors are asked not to move them.

-Swim lessons are not planned as of now due to the need for physical distancing in the pool between instructor and students.

-The pool house will be open, with all of the windows and doors open. Staff will monitor occupancy so that it does not become over-crowded.

-The pool will open with a capacity of 200, with patrons asked to maintain physical distancing between households in and around the pool.

Survey shows American swimmers want space at the pool this summer

A recent survey by the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance found that 57 percent of Americans want limited capacity at public pools this summer.

Sachs Media conducted the 2021 Healthy Pools survey on behalf of the alliance, which is the world’s oldest and largest association representing swimming pool, spa, and hot tub manufacturers, manufacturers’ agents, builders, designers, distributors, suppliers, installers, retailers, and service technicians.

The survey found that 70 percent of Americans plan to swim in a pool this summer, up from 52 percent last year.

More swimmers at the pool means greater concern about people spreading COVID-19.

Overall, 52 percent of Americans worry about COVID-19 at public pools. Among that group, 82 percent are especially concerned about large crowds at the pool.

Portsmouth's outdoor pool will remain open until Aug. 20.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.

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