Tiger Shark Waterpark in St. James is reducing the number of people allowed in the facility as area COVID-19 cases rise. For the safety of patrons, the number allowed inside the pool has been reduced from 200 to 130 for now.
Pool Manager Lisa Parks said the pool has been very busy during the warm weather, leading patrons to have to wait their turn outside the facility when the capacity limit has been reached. Inside, however, the 200-person limit has been too high, she said, to allow for proper social distancing.
“We had a very busy weekend and hit our occupancy limit. When we do that, it’s real busy and people don’t have a place to sit,” she said. She added it is difficult to keep users separated when the pool is at its limit, leading to the city deciding to further limit the number of people allowed in the facility at once.
While the pool staff has taken steps to keep users safe, such as marking off six foot slots at the entrance for people waiting, sanitizing the facility often, and putting up signage to encourage people to follow safety guidelines as suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health departments, it was determined the best way to keep people safe was to further reduce the number in the pool.
“Our in-house parties are going very well. It allows up to 100 people to rent the pool, along with two lifeguards for $175 per hour,” Parks said. The facility can be rented after hours and provides a private setting for families to enjoy the pool with people they know and are comfortable being near. Parks said this is a great alternative if a patron has a large group and wants to use the facility after normal operations.
All other activities, such as the adult swim and swimming lessons, will remain the same. Adult swimming is held Monday through Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. and allows adults to use the facility without children in the pool. It is $2 per person. Swimming lessons are also still ongoing and are offered in the morning and evening throughout the week. Those interested in joining can do so by registering at www.stjparks.recdesk.com or by calling 572-265-7946.
Pool users should also watch the Tiger Shark Waterpark Facebook page to learn about pool closures. The pool is closed down during rainy weather to save on operational costs and notices are put out on the Facebook page when closures occur.
Pool staff ask for patience during this time as these safety measures are implemented and adjusted as needed for the safety of patrons. Parks said the facility will monitor the most current health information over the coming months and will adjust the facility rules as necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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