The Fairfax Club Estates HOA Board has been discussing various options regarding the pool this season. After considering several options, we have made the difficult decision to keep the pool closed for the year. The reason for this decision is for the safety and health of the 350 FCE resident and the summer member families (outside FCE) who use our pool. Social distancing and capacity limitations might minimize an infection at our pool, but only closing it will assure that a COVID-19 infection will not occur. We are a community pool that is open and available to all of these families without restrictions. Current guidelines from the Governor’s EO 61 do not ensure that we will be able to provide a community pool accessible to the community in a manner that justifies their costs and expectations.
Public Safety and Health
COVID-19 has certainly changed how we live our lives. While we individually are concerned about those near us, the Board is concerned about providing a safe neighborhood. We want to follow a plan that will protect our neighbors today, and prevent the spread of the virus in the future. Allowing a large group of neighbors to congregate at the pool daily is not protecting nor preventing. Our pool area allows a maximum of 183 people at a time, I am sure that would be greatly reduced this year. We are also very unsure of what distancing policies will be in place throughout the summer as directed by Fairfax County Health Department and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Ideas that were being recommended by the County and our management company:
- Putting chaise lounges and chairs 6 ft apart (Governor’s EO 61 requires all chairs be removed)
- Creating family groups of chairs
- Some pools are removing all chairs requiring members to bring their own
- Plexiglass shields at the front counter
- Control capacity by having members sign up for specific pool usage times
- Suspension of pool parties
All of this will be managed by our assigned lifeguards. Our pool management company has stated that “it will be impossible for lifeguards to ensure social distancing between patrons” and that “the onus [will be] on the patrons to be responsible for themselves and their families”. It is simply a risk we cannot take.
Protect and Prevent
With so much uncertainty on the best way to protect and prevent the virus from spreading, it is best from a public safety perspective, to keep the pool closed. While some may think this is a drastic measure, we would much rather take a more cautious approach then one we will regret later should the virus become more infectious. It is our duty as the Board, to not only make sound financial decisions, but to also make the difficult decisions especially when the safety and health of our neighbors is at risk. I realize many of you will have questions and concerns. Please email me at email@example.com and I will reply as soon as I can.
Fairfax Club Estates HOA President