VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Brittany Coutcher is the owner of Sand Dollar Pools in Virginia Beach. Her business maintains commercial pools throughout the area.
“We clean balance the water record it report it on a public board for everyone to see, make sure everything is safe all the safety equipment is available,” said Coutcher.
Right now, according to the governor’s office and phase 2 guidelines, pools can be open for lap swimming, exercise and instruction only.
However, pools for recreational use are not allowed to reopen. Because of this, Coutcher says her business is suffering.
“My business is affected because it’s a seasonal business. We only function truly from April to about September, the end of September,” she said.
She says when she hears of the other guidelines that are allowed under phase 2, she gets frustrated and understands her customers are frustrated too.
“In phase 2, we’re now allowed to gather in groups of 50, our largest capacity pool is 37 bathers at one time. I’ve never actually seen that many people in that pool at one time,” she said.
She feels pools for recreational use should also be able to open and believes they can still follow certain restrictions to stay safe.
“I think there’s a low risk of contracting the virus in a setting like this. We’re willing to abide by restrictions. We’re prepared to have signs for social distancing as a reminder, good hand hygiene as a reminder,” said Coutcher.
10 On Your Side spoke with Valerie Thompson, the environmental health supervisor for the Virginia Beach Department of Health. She said she understands business owners and their customers are frustrated. But, she says they are just going off of the guidelines provided by the governor.
She did say that recreational pools could put in lap lanes, then the health department could conduct an inspection to see if the pool could open.
Coutcher says she hoping the guidelines change soon so she can try and make up the business she’s lost.
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