CHICAGO (CBS) — Thinking of cooling off in a swimming pool during Summer 2020? As of this moment, we found only one park district swimming pool planning to open soon in the Chicago area.
Here’s our findings, from several park districts across the area:
Orland Park: On May 26, the Village told us: “Some suburban park districts have already announced the season closure of their public pools. We have decided to delay our decision until more information can be obtained. All pool operations are suspended until we receive additional guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). At that time, we will evaluate the situation and make a decision.”
Then on May 27, the Mayor told us the Village is planning to open its pool and was filling it up. The target open date would be late June, with the approval of Health Officials.
Northbrook: “Due to the many uncertainties surrounding the current Covid-19 pandemic and to comply with the guidelines provided by the CDC, the State of Illinois, and the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Northbrook Park District decided on May 11 to keep both Northbrook Sports Center Pool and Meadowhill Aquatic Center closed for the 2020 season.”
“Factors that contributed to this determination include the unkown length of the stay-at-home order, the requirement to maintain six feet of distance between people, the continued requirements to wear face coverings, restrictions on group activities as outlined in the Restore Illinois plan, the lead time necessary to prepare facilities, safety protocols for staff training and, ultimately, the District’s commitment to keep patrons and staff members safe.”
“If future guidelines allow for the opening of aquatic facilities, the district will review the information and make a thoughtful and informed decision at that time, with careful consideration given to the safety and logistical needs of such a facility opening.”
Tinley Park: “The Tinley Park-Park District has not made a decision to close the White Water Canyon Water Park for the 2020 season. We are holding out hope that we might be able to salvage some sort of season this year but without any official guidance from the State/County we are waiting for now to make any official decisions. At this point our opening date has been suspended which was originally scheduled for Saturday May 30.”
Deerfield: “We at the Deerfield Park District have not made a final decision as of now. We do know, if we do open, it will be delayed thus our target date is July 6 if we receive proper and accurate guidance from the state and county. Our final decision date to not open, in the absence of those guidelines, is NLT (No Later Than) June 3 as we’ll need that time to prepare the pool(s) and train staff.”
Highland Park: “Our only outdoor pool, Hidden Creek AquaPark will remain closed this season.”
Elgin: “Our two outdoor pools, Wing Park Family Aquatic Center and Lords Park Family Aquatic will not open for the summer season. Our indoor aquatic facility will reopen as guidelines allow us to do that.”
Naperville: “We are waiting on a decision from IDPH and the Governor not only for our beach operation but also for the use of our splash pad. Our beach is a large facility so social distancing with limited numbers of patrons will not be an issue for us to handle. I hope we’re allowed to open but if IDPH/Governor says no to our beach, hopefully our splash pad will be allowed to open. We would transfer some of our lifeguards home from college needing work to the splash pad to strictly monitor social distancing.”
Fox Valley Park District: “In the spirit of the community’s health, safety and well-being – our top priority – the Fox Valley Park District has made the difficult decision to close Splash Country Water Park and Phillips Park Family Aquatic Center for the entirety of the 2020 season.”
“All passes purchased will be automatically refunded to the original form of payment. If you purchased a season pass, you do not need to request a refund, though it may take up to 14 business days to receive your reimbursement.”
“In a normal season, the pools draw hundreds to thousands of visitors per day. Due to challenges of enforcing limited group gatherings, social distancing, surface sanitation, and to prevent further possibility of virus spread, we feel it’s our responsibility to close for the 2020 season.”
“Additionally, operating the pools during the pandemic presents several concerns among staff, including proper and adequate training for our lifeguards, staffing level adequacy and the extensive staff labor and personal protective equipment (PPE) required to continue preparing the pools, while adhering to proper social-distancing boundaries.”
Munster, Indiana: “A decision regarding our pool will be made available June 1.”
Crown Point, Indiana: “We anticipate opening the Splashpad at Stage 5 of the Indiana Back on Track Plan—estimated timeline on Stage 5 is July 5th.” (NOTE: Crown Point does not operate a swimming pool, but rather a water play area for children)
Chicago: We’ve asked the Park District if pools are closed for sure for 2020, or if there is a possibility they could open at some point. A spokesperson tells us an announcement about this summer should be coming in the next couple days.