(AP Photo / Ashley Landis)
GREENSBORO / RALEIGH – Residents across North Carolina can rest assured this summer will look a lot better than last in terms of pool gatherings, kids’ summer camps, and even play dates with friends. When Governor Roy Cooper announced in mid-May that he was lifting all mandatory capacity and collection limits, social distancing requirements, and most mandatory masking requirements, it set the stage for many of the state’s most popular summer recreational activities, such as swimming and hanging out by area pools, to quickly to return to normal.
Pool operators in some of NC’s smaller towns and cities say that some restrictions have been carried over from last summer so it is always a good idea to check their website before planning your trip in case bookings are required, etc. Most countries have private Area area clubs say they have completely lifted capacity limits, social distancing rules, and mask mandates for this year.
Many private clubs said it was against their bylaws to discuss operations, but some were able to provide some insight. Some local managers say members are once again allowed to bring guests, no longer need to register in advance, and food services are on at all of their snack bars. They also say that many of last summer’s vigilant protocols, such as limiting attendance to a very small number of members, allowing each member to reserve only 3-hour blocks on a given day, and breaking early, Wiping down and disinfecting common areas was incredibly tedious, cumbersome and frankly just a huge headache for staff and members. “Really, this year is business as usual for us. It’s like summer 2019 to be honest, ”said a Raleigh pool manager who wanted to remain anonymous.
Terra Waldron, General Manager and COO of Greensboro Country Club, recently shed light on how her club is doing things this summer in a recent interview with NSJ:
1. With COVID restrictions largely lifted, what will this summer look like for your club’s facilities? Is it the same as last summer in terms of registration and check-in, or is it “back to normal”?
Our tee times have been reset to 10 minutes instead of 20 minutes between members. No guests were allowed in the club. Our reservation system now allows more members in restaurants according to the Executive Order. The pool is open according to the guidelines for maximum capacity.
2. What measures did your club take last summer to ensure safety during COVID?
We followed the orders of the executive in all areas of the club with members and staff to the letter. Mask wearing, capacity so far 25 to 50%; We’ve made reasonable distancing everywhere including the golf course, one driver per car. Lots of hygiene. Barriers (such as sneeze protection) for the receptionists in clubhouse and fitness areas.
3. Has something carried over and will be the new normal (such as cleaning procedures, distributed chairs?)
We always had strict cleaning procedures, but these were increased to every half an hour, with housekeeping signing out after all points of contact were cleaned.
4. Have you had difficulty finding lifeguards or other staff for this summer?
We have enough lifeguards, but other departments are still understaffed. Candidates will call and / or ghost you or say they are receiving government benefits and wait for the money to run out.
5. What else can you tell me about your club and the arrangements this summer?
We added a new membership called The Farm that has been very successful. They like all the amenities (indoor and outdoor tennis, golf course, golf training center, pool as well as food and drink), the value for money for all the services offered, they feel safe and secure.
Another hopeful sign of an “almost normal” summer season is that the Centers for Disease Control recently relaxed their mask guidelines for most outdoor activities in summer camps, saying that unvaccinated children in camps could do without masks while playing outside. “For camps where everyone is fully vaccinated before camp begins, it is safe to return to full capacity without masking and without physical distancing. In camps where not everyone is fully vaccinated, mask recommendations have been relaxed for most outdoor activities, unless the area is crowded and requires continued close contact, ”the agency stated.
While many adults are vaccinated now and are on their way, a vaccine for children under the age of 12 is not expected until this fall. For many families, this makes navigating social situations even more confusing than it was at the start of the pandemic. The CDC recommends that unvaccinated individuals, including children over 2 years of age, wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor areas, but children are far less likely than adults to be hospitalized or die of COVID. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that children accounted for about 2% of COVID hospital admissions in the US and less than 1% of deaths in May.
During a recent playground meeting in one of Raleigh’s public parks, a group of mothers discussed the fact that despite the reopening of pools and summer camps, they are aware that some parents may still be uncomfortable going back to normal play dates. “One thing that hasn’t changed since last summer is that it is still a challenge to balance the safety concerns of other mothers and fathers who may be reluctant to see their children with my child again without my own child’s friendships to affect “, one said the mother.