Due to the many uncertainties surrounding the current Covid-19 pandemic and to comply with the guidelines provided by the CDC, the State of Illinois, and the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Northbrook Park District has decided to keep both Northbrook Sports Center Pool and Meadowhill Aquatic Center closed for the 2020 season.
Factors that contributed to this determination include the ultimate length of the current stay-at-home order, the requirement to maintain six feet of distance between people, the continued requirements to wear face coverings, restrictions on group activities as outlined in the Restore Illinois plan, the lead time necessary to prepare facilities, safety protocols for staff training and, ultimately, the District’s commitment to keep patrons and staff members safe.
The Restore Illinois plan is the set of guidelines outlining five distinct phases presented by Governor Pritzker on May 5, 2020. At this time, the State of Illinois is in Phase 2: Flattening. Moving to the next phase requires specific decreases in positivity rates and hospitalizations for at least 28 days in each phase. In light of the governor’s announcement on May 11 that coronavirus cases are expected to peak in this region in mid-June, we currently do not know when the necessary rates for positivity will be achieved to allow for progression through the Restore Illinois phases. Gatherings of people are limited to just ten people in Phase 3 and 50 people in Phase 4. Face coverings and physical distancing are required through Phase 4. These limitations prohibit the District from providing proper lifeguard training to prepare guards for an effective rescue, or to perform a rescue or administer CPR.
“The leadership of the Northbrook Park District takes compliance with the guidelines and restrictions outlined by oversight agencies very seriously. These mandates restrict activity at work and at play,” said Executive Director Molly Hamer. “We are disappointed with this outcome. The fun and enjoyment of the pool season is such an important part of summer and we all wish the circumstances were different. But the safety of our community and staff is our first priority. These restrictions will not last indefinitely – we will persevere and remember the sacrifices we made to protect each other and the overall public health. I encourage you to get outside this summer and enjoy our parks and trails while following state and local health guidelines.”
In response to the phased reopening plan presented by the State of Illinois on May 5, the Northbrook Park District has assessed a wide variety of operational and programming plans moving forward. Staff members are developing virtual programs and continue to look for ways to maintain public spaces while continuing to promote safety throughout the community. Information is available at nbparks.org.
The Mission of the Northbrook Park District is to enhance our community by providing outstanding services, parks and facilities through environmental, social and financial stewardship.