Shorewood Pool is closed for the 2020 pool season.

COVID-19 Update - 5/29/20

Dear Shorewood Pool Friends and Family,

We imagine a number of you have heard this news already, but it is with heavy hearts that we're emailing to inform you that the decision was made yesterday to NOT open pool this summer.  Whether it's the exercise from swimming laps or doing aerobics; the joy children get from programming like lessons, swim/dive team, or water ballet; the sense of community and connection you get from meeting friends and family at the pool to relax; or simply just to cool off on a 95 degree day when the AC just isn't cutting it anymore; the list of reasons why we love the pool is endless.  To say that we'll be missing those things this summer is a monumental understatement.  We were all hoping for some semblance of pool life this summer, and countless hours were spent digesting information and recommendations as they became available, analyzing potential models of how we might operate, and considering all the options of how it could fit together into something workable.  This decision was difficult to say the least and one that was not taken lightly by any of those involved in the process.  In the end, the numerous obstacles - primarily the health and safety of our staff and members - proved to be insurmountable.  We understand that we all love the pool, and know that it is because of that love that members will have strong feelings about this decision.  Some may feel strongly that, while difficult, this is the right and responsible choice to make.  Others will feel that this is too conservative and that the pool should have opened to the fullest extent legally allowed.  Many will land somewhere in between.  Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, please understand that this decision was not made because anyone does not love the pool, the membership, or the amazing staff.  In fact, quite the contrary.  It is because of that love that they felt this was the best way to ensure the health and safety of the staff and members during this pandemic.

We imagine there will be lots of questions regarding this decision.  Below is a list of a few that we anticipated might be out there, along with our best attempt at answering them.

FAQ#1:  Why are other pools opening but Shorewood isn't?

Every pool is unique in it's own way.  County club pools are different than private swim clubs; private swim clubs are different than pools attached to municipalities; municipal pools have different operational challenges depending on where you are.  These differences each offer their own benefits, but also have their own sets of challenges as well, especially as it relates to this pandemic.  Differences aside, ultimately it comes down to each organizations assessment to make their own philosophical decisions about what level of risk they are comfortable with.  This is evident even as it relates to recommendations from public health professionals.  The current Forward Dane guidelines refer to capacity limits and social distancing recommendations for pools in various stages (link HERE), while the Wisconsin Department of Health Services came out with recommendations just yesterday that all pools in the state should remain closed (link HERE, and scroll down to find the section relating to pools).

FAQ#2: Shorewood Pool is so much bigger than most pools, doesn't that make this easier?

In many ways the physical size our pool and the size of our membership makes things more challenging, not less.   More square feet of pool space does mean you can fit more people in it at one time, but it also increases the logistical challenges in keeping people spaced out.  Organizing a birthday party for 100 kids is more challenging than one for 10 kids, regardless of the size of your backyard.  The increased size of our pool, comes with an increased size of membership and staff as well, as it relates to many other pools in the area.

FAQ#3:  Aren't outdoor pools a safe environment to be in?

Being outside, as well as being in a chlorinated environment certainly helps, but the concern is when people from different households are closer than 6 ft, even when in the water.  There are certainly ways to mitigate opportunities for close contact, but fully eliminating that is unlikely.  One specific area of concern was related to training of lifeguards.  Shorewood has always taken pride in the level of preparedness of our lifeguard staff, and to continue to do so would mean increasing their risk of exposure.

Ultimately, there is no mathematical calculation that provides a definitive “correct” answer for whether or not a facility should open during this time.  We want to emphasize again, that despite any evaluations which may be in opposition to this decision, the decision was made with the most sincere and genuine concern possible for the health, safety, and well-being of our larger pool family, including members and staff.  We have been together every summer since 1970, and we hope to get back into the water together next summer, so that our family can once again enjoy the awesome summers that we have all become accustomed to.  We miss you all already, and wish you all good health and a wonderful summer!