Swimmers bob and splash in the Okanogan pool during Okanogan Days. The pool opens for the season June 9.

OKANOGAN – Municipal swimming pools are opening in the next couple weeks with restrictions on capacity and some curtailed schedules.

State and local health authorities are offering cities guidance on how they can open their pools, all of which were closed last year because of COVID-19.

According to the state Department of Health, all water recreation facilities are required to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 exposure control, mitigation and recovery plan. The play must include policies pertaining to designation of staff to implement the plan, personal protective equipment, on-location physical distancing, hygiene, sanitation, symptom monitoring, incident reporting, disinfection procedures, COVID-19 safety training, competitive swim team practice safety protocols, exposure response procedures and post-exposure incident mitigation and recovery plans.

Six-foot minimum physical distancing is required, although people from the same household can be together. Caregivers are allowed to accompany people who need help to participate. Requirements apply to all part of the facility, including the pool, decks, locker and shower rooms, restrooms, offices, lounges, front counters and spas.

Several other requirements are included in the guidelines, which can be viewed online.


The pool, off West Cliff Avenue, is scheduled to open at 1 p.m. June 18. The pool manager is Nicole Smith.

City Clerk Misty Ruiz said the city’s opening plan is under review by Okanogan County Public Health.

If the city gets the go-ahead, the schedule includes:

-Adult swim – 6-7 a.m. Monday through Friday.

-Swim team – 7-9 a.m. Monday through Friday.

-Lessons – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-Open swim – 1-4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-Adult and family swim – 5-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-Open swim 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The lesson schedule includes July 5-9, beginners age 5 and older; July 12-16, beginners age 5 and older; July 19-23, preschool, ages 3 and 4, and mom/dad/tot, age 2 and younger.

Dates for teen nights, for those ages 13-18, and Boys & Girls Club family nights are yet to be determined.


Opening day is set for June 15 for Bridgeport’s pool, which is in Berryman Park at the corner of 21st Street and Tacoma Avenue. A wading pool is available for younger children.

Capacity limits apply, and six-foot distancing is required, said Public Works Director Stuart Dezellem. Restrooms and changing rooms have occupancy limits, and temperatures will be taken prior to entry.

The regular schedule applies.

Jackie Hentges is the manager.


Under phase 3 requirements, 85 people can swim in the pool at a time and approximately 65 can be on the deck, for a total of 150, said Public Works Director Shawn Davisson.

Unforeseen circumstances may warrant pool closure at any time, according to the city.

Opening day is today, June 9, with free swimming from 1-4:45 p.m. at the pool, located in Alma Park.

Swim sessions include:

-Adult lap swim – 7-8 a.m. Monday through Friday.

-Swim team practice – 8-10 a.m. Monday through Friday.

-Lessons – 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.

-Adult lap swim/parent-tot – noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-Public swim – 1-4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-Adult lap swim/swim lessons – 5-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-Family swim – 6-7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-Public swim – 7-9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Admission is charged, with individual and season tickets available, along with 10-unit child’s passes, five-unit adult and day care passes. People who live outside the city limits pay higher fees.

Lesson signups are 10 a.m. to noon July 5-9 and July 26-30 for lessons running July 12-23 and Aug. 2-13, respectively. Okanogan County must be in Phase 3 or higher for lessons to occur. Fees are charged for lessons.

The pool may be rented Saturdays and Sundays. Information is at 509-422-3600.

Pool manager is Dean Klepec.


The pool, in East Side Park, opens June 21.

“There will be a limit on people in the pool and we will be taking temps and screenings before entering,” said Heidi Sam, pool manager.

She said people are asked to come prepared and ready to swim t minimize use of the dressing rooms and bathrooms.

The pool may be rented Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and all day Sunday.

Closures include July 5 for the Independence Day observance and three days to be determined in July for swim meets. The pool closes for the season July 10.

Swim sessions include:

-Swim team – 5:45-9 a.m. Monday through Friday.

-Lessons – 9:10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.

-Adult lap swim – noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

-Water aerobics – noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-Public swim – 1-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

-Adult lap swim – 5-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

-Water aerobics – 5-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-Family swim – 6:15-7:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Admission is charged, with individual or season tickets available. Children 4 and younger are admitted free with a paying adult.

Lesson signups will be June 28 to July 2 for the July 6-16 session and July 19-23 for the July 26 to Aug. 6 session. Fees will be charged.

The pool is handicapped-accessible and has an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant lift.


No details have been released about opening the splash pad in Memorial Park.


Details are still being worked out for opening the pool, in History Park, according to the Tonasket Community Pool Facebook page.

There’s no word on the splash park opening.


Opening details for Wagner Memorial Pool, in Twisp Park on North Lincoln Street, have not yet been announced.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.