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Rexburg Rapids opens

With Idaho recently entering the next phase of reopening, the Rexburg Rapids waterpark opened to the public June 26.

Last year Rexburg Rapids opened June 8, and usually depends on weather conditions. This year it depended on COVID-19.

Previously this year, the Rapids were only open for swim lessons.

“It’ll be more of an official opening for them because it has been really cold lately,” said Rainey Roberts, a sophomore majoring in general studies.

Maegan Scholes, the pool manager and program coordinator at Rexburg Rapids explained that attendance is limited by the weather in addition to COVID-19 restrictions. Here are some changes made by the Rapid’s management to keep the public safe:

  • Social distancing will be enforced where applicable including spreading out tables and bathroom usage.
  • Signs placed on the ground will indicate how to social distance and split up parties to ensure multiple parties do not share the same space.
  • Cleaning processes will occur every other day instead of just once a week.
  • Only 600 individuals can enter the Rapids instead of the regular 1000 limitation.
  • Lifeguard positions will change to different locations to avoid potential blind spots. Rexburg Rapids management also hired more lifeguards for this year to help with safety.

“People are wanting to swim,” Scholes said. “Just today we had five people drive up asking about being open.”

While waiting to open to the public, they trained additional lifeguards, spacing tables out and cleaning the pools. During lifeguard trainings, management split up employees into smaller groups to avoid a larger gathering.

“I think it’s smart that they opened later, there is a lot of bacteria and other stuff that can get passed around in public pools,” Roberts said. “People should still go but people need to practice social distancing.”

Idaho recommends continued social distancing with groups of 50 people or less. Since Rexburg Rapids is allowed to bring in more than 50 people, they will adhere to social distancing guidelines. Gatherings such as birthday parties, daycares and children’s clubs will continue to practice social distancing from other groups, but other safety measures will be determined by the individual group. These programs will continue to operate during their regularly scheduled months, but may be affected by weather.

Concessions will proceed as they have in the past since food and drinks are made beforehand, according to Scholes. Employees will also be given gloves and face masks to ensure safety.

“If individuals aren’t comfortable, we recommend that they wait till later in the year or even come next year for swim lessons,” Scholes said. “We want people to enjoy their time here and not be constantly worried.”

Rexburg Rapids management explained that safety is key and wish to continue their summer traditions with caution. For more Rexburg Rapids updates, visit their city website or Facebook page.

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