Seattle Parks has just announced that the Lincoln Park wading pool is closed for the rest of the day and undergoing “extensive cleaning” after a report of kids getting sick after using the pool (which also was discussed in the WSB Forums). Here’s the announcement:
Seattle Parks and Recreation has closed Lincoln Park wading pool today for extensive cleaning after a notification from Public Health – Seattle & King County that a group of children who attend day camp in the park became sick after playing in the pool.
Public Health suspects the children may have contracted norovirus, which causes diarrhea and vomiting. Norovirus is highly contagious, and is spread by getting the vomit or stool of someone who is infected in your mouth. This can happen by swimming in contaminated waters, eating foods that are contaminated, touching surfaces with the norovirus on it, or by having contact with someone who is infected.
Seattle Parks and Recreation received the call from Public Health around 11 a.m. on Friday, July 19 – after the wading pool had opened for the day.
“We immediately closed the pool,” said Aquatics Manager Kathy Whitman, “and began a thorough cleaning process with high concentrations of chlorine. We are disinfecting every possible surface.”
All of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s wading pools are chlorinated, and chemical levels are checked hourly by a trained wading pool attendant. The chemical levels in the pool on Tuesday, July 16 – the day children are suspected to have contracted the virus – were within standards set by the State Health Code.
Seattle Parks and Recreation also cleaned all the play area near the wading pool, as well as picnic tables, garbage cans and bathrooms in the area as an extra precaution. Public Health – Seattle & King County has reviewed and approved Seattle Parks and Recreation’s clean-up plan.
“We are extremely cautious when it comes to water safety,” Whitman said. “If we are aware that a wading pool has become contaminated with stool or vomit, we close the pool, clean it and re-fill it. We had no indication on Tuesday that the wading pool at Lincoln Park had any possible contamination.”
Because of the resilience of the norovirus, Seattle Parks and Recreation will keep the Lincoln Park wading pool closed today so that a thorough cleaning can take place, and will re-open it tomorrow, Saturday, July 20.
Lincoln Park is the only West Seattle-area wading pool that is open seven days a week, weather permitting. Two other wading pools in our area remain open today, EC Hughes (till 7 pm) and Delridge (till 6:45); Highland Park Spraypark is open until 8 pm. Here’s the citywide schedule.