Old Farm Pool Is Opening June 29th!
As part of Phase 2 and expanding in Phase 3, pools will be permitted to open subject to usage limitations imposed by Executive Orders from the County Executive and Governor of Maryland.
There will be restrictions, including how many members can use the pool in a single session. These restrictions are outlined below. This document will also be on our website throughout this summer and may be updated to reflect changes to how the pool will operate this summer.
To manage capacity, we will use our online reservation system found on our website. Members MUST use this system if they want to enter the pool. Each member account will have to acknowledge a waiver before securing a spot online. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18 whenever on the premises.
The FAQs below also outline several new safety procedures. Please familiarize yourselves with these and share them with your family. If members do not comply with the safety regulations, which are based on Montgomery County guidelines and Old Farm enhancements, they may be asked to leave the pool and/or have their membership suspended.
Our number one priority always has been safety and in these uncertain and anxious times that mission is more important than ever.
We appreciate your continued patience as we work towards a safe return to the pool this summer.
How will capacity be determined?
Per county guidance for Phase II, there will be a maximum number of members allowed at one time. The pool will open with an 80 member capacity and will adjust as the pool board sees fit under county limitations.
The county has set a guidance involving a calculation involving pool surface area, OF has used this number as the maximum and adjusted down to an 80 member capacity to more safely accommodate our membership. The number one concern from our survey was distancing, and limiting the number of people in the pool will help with this issue.
Will guests be allowed?
There will be no guests allowed this year. Only members will be allowed on the pool grounds. Caretakers may be allowed with special advance permission.
How will capacity and reservations be managed?
Our online reservation system, eSoft, will be utilized to permit families (up to six people/family) to reserve a block of time to come to the pool. Prior to securing a time slot, members will be required to electronically sign a waiver on our website. To begin we will limit patrons to four sessions per week: three (3) during Monday – Friday and one over the weekend (Saturday or Sunday). The pool board has tried to implement a fair reservation system. We will be monitoring the reservation system closely and will delete sessions exceeding four. We will continually revisit this standard to ensure it reflects capacity and use.
How will things work at the pool?
Members will be required to sign in and out to ensure compliance with the mandated capacity. In addition, this will permit contact tracing if required. We will alter how members enter and exit the pool grounds. At the beginning of each reservation session, members will line up at the front entrance. We will mark out spaces to ensure social distancing while waiting to enter. One family group at a time will be allowed to sign in at the front desk. Members will exit through the parking lot gate to avoid bottlenecks with members who are entering for a new session. New signage will be posted to make these changes and rules clear. Pool board members will be monitoring the pool grounds. Please obey signage, lifeguards, and pool personnel at all times.
Pool staff will space tables and chairs on the grounds in such a manner as to provide at least six feet of spacing for families occupying tables and pathways for walking around the pool deck. Members should maintain a six-foot distance from non-family members.
We will have both open water areas and lap lanes simultaneously. Lap lanes can only be used by one patron in the water at a time. Unrelated swimmers will be required to maintain a minimum six-foot physical distance while in the pool.
As in previous seasons, the pool will be used by private recreation programs (e.g., FINS), primarily before the opening hour of 11 AM on weekdays. These programs are also required to follow rules set forth by the county and state.
Several aspects of the pool will be unavailable to members while Montgomery County remains in phase two, including:
- Baby pool / Wading pool
- Basketball court
- Volleyball court
- Shuffleboard court
- Ping-pong tables
- Play structure
- Kickboards and noodles
- Dive well for activities other than diving
Members will be allowed to bring their own chairs and kickboards. If and when the county moves to phase three, some of these restrictions may change.
Will masks be required?
Staff who interact with patrons or other staff must wear face coverings. Patrons should wear face coverings when interacting with staff or other individuals not from their household. Masks should not be worn while in the pool itself.
How will social distancing be handled?
Members will be responsible for maintaining social distancing to ensure the health and safety of their family as well as the health and safety of their fellow members. In addition, members will be responsible for supervising their children at all times while in the pool and on the pool grounds.
The management company has stated that lifeguards are at the pool to protect swimmers and will not be responsible for enforcing social distancing.
Please be aware of your surroundings. As a pool community we need to work together to provide a safe and comfortable environment for everyone enjoying the pool. Members will be required to monitor their family unit at all times and should not approach lifeguards about enforcing social distancing. Members who refuse to follow safety guidelines will be asked to leave the facility, and could have their membership restricted or terminated.
What about hand sanitizer and cleaning?
Our pool operator, Lighthouse Pools, will maintain a supply of soap and hand sanitizer for members. Cleaning and disinfection of frequently-touched surfaces such as pool railings, deck furniture, and doorknobs will be completed between each session, in accordance with CDC and EPA guidelines on COVID-19 and product instructions.
Members are discouraged from sharing objects that are difficult to clean, sanitize, or disinfect or are meant to come in contact with the face (e.g., goggles). Members are also discouraged from sharing food, equipment, toys, and supplies outside of their household group.
When should I not come to the pool?
Members who are not feeling well, are on home isolation, have been in contact with an infected person, or have been infected with Covid-19 should not come to the pool without consulting a health care provider and following their provider’s instructions.
What happens if there is a case reported at the pool?
If a pool member who visited the pool becomes infected with Covid-19, or is suspected to be infected, we will follow guidelines provided by Maryland and Montgomery County with regard to informing members. The reservation system will assist in identifying members at the pool at the same time. We understand that this is a tricky issue that involves balancing the protection of privacy and public safety.
Will the grills be available? Other food options?
Members will not have use of the pool’s grills; however, already prepared food, snacks, and beverages will be permitted at tables. The water fountains and vending machines will not be available.
What about swim and dive teams?
Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL) and Montgomery County Dive League (MCDL) have announced the cancellations of their seasons. Team reps are working on various scenarios for swim and dive clinics.
Swim training sessions for the OF swim team have already been arranged with Fins and will be starting before the pool opens to the general membership. This is possible as the Fins program has already established protocols for operation and due to county guidelines will have a very limited number of swimmers using the pool at one time.
What about social events?
Unfortunately, we will not be able to hold any of our normal social events this year, but stay tuned for future updates on modified social events.
Will there be a lost and found?
There will be no lost and found this year. Please ensure you have all your personal belongings prior to leaving the pool grounds.
Can I still have a party at Old Farm Pool?
Party reservations will not be available.
Will there be a credit given for the reduced number of days the pool is open?
As noted in previous pool communications, to the extent possible, dues will be pro-rated for the number of days that the pool is actually open. The discount will be applied as a credit for membership dues for summer 2021. In order to have a full accounting of our expenses, we must wait until the conclusion of the 2020 season to determine what membership credits would be. The board is doing everything possible to apply the maximum credit back to our members when that time comes.
We thank you for your continued support. Welcome back to the pool!
The Old Farm Swim and Paddle Pool Board