Officials announce closing of Carmichaels pool, day camp

Photo courtesy of Kite Hillsman

Youths attending the Greene STAR (Summer Time Arts and Recreation) program at the Waynesburg Lions Club Park enjoy some fun on the swingset during a recent day of camp. County officials have announced that the modified county day camp is now closed at the Carmichaels site due to low attendance. The camp site at Lions Club Park will continue through Aug. 7.

County officials announced earlier this week that the county’s modified day camp offered at Wana B Park in Carmichaels has been canceled and the Carmichaels swimming pool is closed for the remainder of the summer season.

In a release issued Monday, Commissioner Mike Belding said low attendance and a lack of staff were key factors for the pool’s closing and the day camp’s cancellation in Carmichaels.

Belding said attendance at the Greene STAR (Summer Time Arts and Recreation) program at the day camp’s Carmichaels location “has been as low as zero children for some days, and even at the highest attendance rate does not justify keeping the camp open.”

The Carmichaels camp was free for youths to attend; however, if families purchased pool passes for use with the day camp, they can receive a refund for that purchase.

Belding added that since opening the Waynesburg and Carmichaels pools this summer, the county has continually struggled to maintain an adequate number of available lifeguards to keep both pools open.

“With the increase in COVID-19 positive cases in the county, new guidance from (Gov. Wolf’s office) increasing requirements of masking and maintaining social distancing has become impossible to maintain staff requirements at both swimming pools,” Belding said.

Swim lessons have been discontinued because of those requirements and the Carmichaels pool will remain closed until next season, the release states. The Waynesburg Water Park continues to remain open.

Refunds are available for swim lessons and pool passes. For individuals who purchased Carmichaels’ pool passes, all passes, no matter the color or timeframe, will be honored at Waynesburg Water Park without restrictions, Belding said.

“You may come anytime, with any valid pass to swim at Waynesburg Water Park,” Belding said.

The Messenger received an anonymous inquiry from a resident earlier in the week asking if there was truth to rumors that the Carmichaels pool had been closed because lifeguards had tested positive for COVID-19. However, Belding and recreation Director Bret Moore said that was not the reason for the closure.

“It was simply a matter of a staff shortage caused by several different potential factors, including staff members going on vacation and going into self-quarantine when they return, accepting other jobs and preparing for school in the fall, for example,” Moore said.

Belding said it is a state Department of Health order that employees who leave for vacation and visit beaches or other “hot spots” for potential exposure to COVID-19 are required to self-quarantine for 14 days when they return or test negative two times over the course of a week, which was the case for multiple lifeguards who were staffed at both pools.

“But to my knowledge, no lifeguards had tested positive for COVID-19,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, the modified version of the county day camp is still being offered at Lions Club Park in Waynesburg Mondays through Fridays, through Aug. 7. Camp begins each day at 9 a.m. and attendees are having their temperatures checked with a no-touch thermometer before entering the camp daily.

All program participants must pre-register for camp.

Moore said the day camp is following all mandated state and CDC safety and social distancing guidelines.

Meanwhile, Mon View swimming pool and day camp site continue to remain closed this summer due to construction projects scheduled in the area.

Additional information can be obtained on the Greene County Commissioners Facebook page or by calling the commissioners’ office at 724-852-5210.

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