Municipal pool thrives before COVID-19 hits PC
August 12, 2020
The Malta Municipal Pool's 2020 summer came to an abrupt end on Friday, August 7, thanks to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Phillips County. The pool hosted 120 kids throughout the year for swim lessons and many more for Open Swim.
"We decided to close the pool after the drastic spike in cases here in our county," Malta Pool Manager Kelly Cederberg said. "We just thought that it would be best for the safety of our patrons, our lifeguards and our family to stop swimming lessons as well as open swim."
The City had initially planned to do three two-week sessions, but after the Phillips County Health Department announced that the county had 28 confirmed cases, the season had been shut down.
A week in a swim lesson session was daily, Monday through Friday, and classes were 30-minutes long. And classes had 10 to 12 children in the pool at a time. Cederberg explained how things were going when swim lessons were in session.
"The swim lessons were amazing," Cederberg said. "I had three really, really great lifeguards helping me."
Cederberg said that the lifeguards helped things run smoothly. She also said that those being taught had a good time and have really shown progress.
"So many of them became more confident in the water, so that was pretty fun to see," Cederberg said.
During the lessons, swimmers learned a variety of techniques. Those techniques included work with and without a kickboard. Swimmers were instructed to use the board to practice their flutter kick, a move that was used with every stroke that was taught.
Swimmers learned how to do front floats, back floats, how to swim underwater, front crawls, sculling, life jacket safety, and water rescue skills.
"Some of my older students learned how to do the back crawl and how to tread water as well as a front dive," Cederberg said.
Earlier in the summer, the City was unsure that the pool would even open given the drastic repairs that it needed, but the pool did open up Tuesday, July 7, giving the Malta Municipal Pool's 2020 season, a month-long run.
"It was great," Cederberg said. "It was cool to have the pool packed. We averaged about 110 kids a day between swimming lessons and open swim."
Cederberg said it was great seeing the families have fun and seeing the parents enjoy the sun.
"My lifeguards had a lot of fun watching over the swimmers and taking care of them," she said. "We are appreciative of the City for opening the pool and giving it a chance and a program."