AN opening date for public swimming pools at Helensburgh, Thirroul and Corrimal is expected to be set by Wollongong City Council next week.
Council says it expects to be able to provide a date for when the gates on lifeguard supervised pools will open for summer mid next week.
Council is working through the detail in the mandatory COVID Safe Plan for pools that was released by NSW Health late yesterday.
The COVID Safe Plan sets out NSW Health’s rules and requirements around what Council needs to do to operate the pools safely. It supports the NSW Public Health Orders.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said it’s important Council get the process right and follows the advice within the NSW Public Health Order and the COVID Safe Plan.
“These are challenging times for all of us and we rely on the health experts providing advice on the measures we need in place to support our staff and their families and our community members,” he said.
With the announcement last Sunday that permission would be granted to reopen the pools, Council has fast-tracked the induction of seasonal pool lifeguards who had been on standby ahead of the start of the pool season.
Wollongong City Council General Manager Greg Doyle said throughout the pandemic Council had focussed on the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers and their families, as well as the broader community.
“We have plans in place for our operations across summer and it’s important we have flexibility in the plans and that we continue to check in and make sure these plans meet the NSW Public Health Order requirements and our community,’’ he said.
“Right now, we’re seeing increasing case numbers for our Local Government Area. This is extremely concerning and while we have the Public Health Order to follow, it’s important we have the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and community front of mind in our decision making.’’
Cr Bradbery said as Council works through the site-specific COVID Safe Plans for each of the city’s nine public pools which are supervised by lifeguards, it is closely monitoring local COVID case numbers.
“I want our community to be aware that this is a fluid situation and we will have further updates mid next week,’’ Cr Bradbery said.
“In the meantime, our professional lifeguards are joined by volunteer lifesavers on patrol on our beaches and our nine, unsupervised, ocean rock pools are available for those wishing to exercise in the water.’’
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