Granite Falls Recreation Center Lifeguard Tests Positive For COVID-19…Pool Closes

GRANITE FALLS, NC (July 25, 2020) — One of the summer lifeguards working at the Granite Falls Recreation Center pool tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, there is no indication that the lifeguard contracted COVID-19 while working at the pool and the lifeguard is on the road to recovery. The lifeguard last worked at the pool on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, and prior to last Wednesday, the lifeguard had not worked at the pool since Thursday, July 16, 2020. Fortunately, none of the lifeguards have been in close contact with pool patrons for any extended period since there have been no instances this pool season where any lifeguard had to use CPR on a pool patron.

Since the pool opened earlier this month, Recreation Department staff met or exceeded Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for safely operating a public pool. Recreation Staff performed daily temperature checks on all employees and on all pool patrons before they could enter the pool area. The Recreation Department limited pool occupancy, required employees and patrons to social distance, required employees to wear face coverings, provided hand sanitizer, and disinfected the facilities more often than required by the CDC. Based on these safety precautions, we believe that the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is low, however we suggest that anyone who attended the pool on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 contact their health care provider and let them determine if they need to be tested for COVID-19. 

There is also a possibility that other lifeguards and other staff members, that worked the same schedule as the lifeguard infected with COVID-19, may have been exposed. The Town has recommended that these other employees be tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible. Since these other lifeguards will not be able to work until they have received a negative test result, the Town has no choice but to close the pool immediately due to a shortage of lifeguards. In the best interest of public health and safety the pool will remain closed until next pool season which begins in May 2021.