D.C. will open its indoor swimming pools and recreation centers next week with limited, strict measures in place after shuttering in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Parks and Recreation announced.

As a result of the reopening, 5,000 people have made reservations to use the pools and fitness centers, which are almost fully booked, WRC-TV (Channel 4) reported.

The recreation centers will open Oct. 13 and reservations are required for 45 minutes in the gym or pool. People are limited to one reservation per day and four each week. Reservations must be made seven days in advance to use DRP facilities.

The DPR facilities will be open each day except Sunday. Visitors and staff will be screened before entrance is allowed into facilities and face masks must be worn except when swimming.

Delano Hunter, director of DPR, said the decision to open facilities partly relied on the summer camp program that operated without any staffers or children affected by COVID-19.

“We served over 1,000 youth at over 19 facilities and over 107,000 meals at those same facilities, and our staff bought into the protocol, and we didn’t have any positive coronavirus cases,” he said, WRC reported.

Hunter said activities other than pools and fitness centers at over 30 DPR facilities in the District will be offered to the general public.

“Some centers will be open for specific purposes, some just for cooperative play, which is an early childhood program, and others for fitness centers, learning hubs, after-school meals and pool access,” Hunter said.

D.C. has 15,843 coronavirus cases and 634 related deaths as of Friday, according to city statistics.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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