Lincoln Park wading pool closed for ‘extensive cleaning’ after illnesses reported

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.

36 Replies to "Lincoln Park wading pool closed for 'extensive cleaning' after illnesses reported"

  • Another Mom July 19, 2013 (4:06 pm)

    My kids were there yesterday. Have any kids who were at the pool on Wednesday or Thursday gotten sick, or just the batch from Tuesday? Poor kids; noro is awful.

  • ?? July 19, 2013 (4:14 pm)

    What’s up with the helicopter hovering over Lincoln park?

  • Gatewood mom July 19, 2013 (4:18 pm)

    They have the news helicopter hanging over the park for this?

  • LP July 19, 2013 (4:21 pm)

    Suspect that is why the news helicopter is circling above Lincoln Park right now. Jeez…

    • WSB July 19, 2013 (5:29 pm)

      Yes, I mentioned it on FB/Twitter but hadn’t added it here – at least one station sent a helicopter for aerials of the pool. And there’s at least one live truck there, PLUS insane ferry traffic, PLUS – this was after the helicopter – an incident that brought lots of police, unrelated to the pool or the ferry traffic … Good place NOT to be right now.

  • Nate July 19, 2013 (4:26 pm)

    Something is going around. My son had a high fever on Sunday/Monday, then yesterday he puked his guts out. We are patiently waiting for my daughter to start ralphing. Neither of them have been to a public swimming or wading pool in the last week.

    We’ve had other friends in WS and far from WS experience the same. Summer sicknesses suck!

  • Desertdweller July 19, 2013 (4:29 pm)

    My 11 month old was there yesterday — I really really hope she doesn’t get sick.

  • West Seattle Hipster July 19, 2013 (4:42 pm)

    I feel awful for the kids, that’s a shame.

  • Mr Matt July 19, 2013 (4:49 pm)


  • CSWS July 19, 2013 (5:44 pm)

    We have 11 children sick and I’m confident from my research and the specifics that it is not a ‘summer illness’ or virus. And tests have not yet been done by Public Health-they will be conducted next week once the stool samples have been tested so it is not confirmed to be Noro. I haven’t heard that it has spread to any other family member or person in our group who was not in the pool and all of these children submerged themselves-head under, except for one who touched the water and then ate chips :( They are starting to recover slowly-I really hope no little little ones got sick, these guys are hardy 6 and 7 year olds! I would like to add however that we did contact the Parks department early Thursday. I still have not heard from them directly.

  • cjl July 19, 2013 (6:07 pm)

    Oh no, we were at Coleman pool with my neice on Monday and now she has a high fever. Hope nothing got into that pool as well.

  • desdemona July 19, 2013 (6:43 pm)

    My two kids swam there for 3 hours on Thursday afternoon, they have no symptoms.

  • Kgdlg July 19, 2013 (6:53 pm)

    Our kid had a party at the Lincoln wading pool on Sunday, had a fever on and off all week. But no puking, luckily!

  • West Seattle Hipster July 19, 2013 (7:10 pm)

    Would love to see a nice light blue coating on all of the wading pools in the city, might make them easier to clean, would also make them look better.

    We seem to come up with money quite easily for other special interests……..

  • CSWS July 19, 2013 (8:12 pm)

    I do just want to say that we LOVE Lincoln park and have visited the wading pool many times as a group and personally with my 2 daughters over the last 16 years and I have never had any illness reported or happen. When you go to the pool take plenty of wipes and sanitizer with you and make sure you or they wash their hands and face before they eat. It’s always the simplest things that are the hardest to make happen sometimes. And you may want to not let them dunk-save that for the real pool!!!

  • CC July 19, 2013 (8:24 pm)

    I do wonder if they contracted a virus elsewhere. My daughter and her friends played in the LP wading pool on Wednesday and no one is sick.

  • AIDM July 19, 2013 (8:51 pm)

    I think people are misunderstanding the vector here. I believe that the day camp kids got noro and then swam in the wading pool. The pool was thus closed, drained, and cleaned as a precaution to other people due to the possibility of transmission through the pool. I don’t believe that the day camp kids are believed to have contracted noro FROM the pool.

  • Bsmomma July 19, 2013 (9:17 pm)

    Our daughter had a virus last week/end. High fever and vomiting. Ended up making a visit to the ER. This was on top of dealing with Strep and on antibiotics. Maybe a coincidence but something is going around. Hope everyone feels better quick and no more sick kids!

  • Sarah July 19, 2013 (9:33 pm)

    No-we are pretty sure they got it from the pool, by process of elimination, BUT on Tuesday afternoon.
    So Wednesday/Thursday or Monday you would not have been in the same water. I am trying to find out if anyone who was at the pool on TUESDAY afternoon, July 16th has been sick?

  • shed22 July 19, 2013 (10:07 pm)

    What leads you to that belief, AIDM?

  • NW mama July 19, 2013 (10:15 pm)

    Aidm has it right.

  • WSB July 19, 2013 (10:47 pm)

    However the kids got sick – if you are not familiar with the city wading pools, please do note that they are drained and refilled daily (depending on which days they are in use – as I noted, Lincoln is the only one in West Seattle currently in 7-day-a-week operation). So the water from Tuesday was long gone by today, but Parks took the precaution anyway. – TR

  • Darly Quinn July 20, 2013 (5:36 am)

    I was at the pool w my daughter on 7/14. We don’t do daycare so she’s not around kids that often and she contracted Roseola Virus. Her fever spiked to 104 and she’s been sick for 5+ days and is covered in a rash. Is there any link to that virus?

  • MD Rx July 20, 2013 (8:24 am)

    AIDM is correct. Certainly illness from picnic/ potluck (notorious for transmission). After an incubation period, kids showed signs while swimming. Am curious what stool samples show…

  • shed22 July 20, 2013 (9:16 am)

    A bunch of kids contracted illness then converged at the wading pool or a bunch of kids converged at the wading pool and contracted illness? One seems more likely and logical.

  • Not the pool July 20, 2013 (12:32 pm)

    Highly unlikely the illness came from the pool and very likely the kids ate contaminated food. 80% of Noro cases occur in winter and almost always spread through food (unless we’re taking about indoor spaces like cruise ships and long term care facilities). Also, Noro lives for less than an hour in chlorinated water so you’d be looking at a very narrow window. If it was me, I’d review my food handling practices to ensure safety going forward.

  • Jess July 20, 2013 (1:55 pm)

    My son swam there Tuesday (and Thursday) and has had no symptoms.

  • SLD July 20, 2013 (2:10 pm)

    My daughter swam in the pool on Tuesday – included dunking her head under water and has not shown symptoms of the Norovirus.

  • Jena July 20, 2013 (3:10 pm)

    I had three 5yr old kids there Tuesday afternoon. No throwing up for us, thank goodness. They are all well.

  • thereontuesday July 20, 2013 (3:24 pm)

    I really don’t think it is the water cause my kids where in the water for five hours that even and don’t show any signs of being sick.

  • J July 20, 2013 (3:59 pm)

    My 1.5 year old was in the Lincoln park wading pool around 1100 and then again at 1300 on Tuesday the 16th. No s/s of norovirus.

  • desertdweller July 20, 2013 (10:32 pm)

    My 11 month old, who was at the pool on Thursday afternoon just got a fever and started throwing up. If anyone finds out if it’s the Noro Virus, I would really appreciate it if they would comment on this post.

  • Sarah July 20, 2013 (10:57 pm)

    Thank you to those of you who responded that you were at the pool on Tuesday. Would you mind emailing me at so I can connect you with Public Health to complete their survey or for them to contact you to complete their investigation?
    Thank you so much for helping us figure this all out-I am so glad that your children are ok.

  • Sarah July 20, 2013 (11:15 pm)

    Hi Desertdweller
    I am really sorry to hear your child is sick. We have not yet confirmed it is Norovirus but will certainly let you know what we find out. But with such a young baby if you are concerned at all call your Dr or nurse line.

    It really wasn’t/isn’t my intention to create mass hysteria about the wading pool, we love the wading pool and will most certainly use it again in the future. It’s why I was asking to hear from people BEFORE it apparently became big news! I had nothing to do with that. If the Parks Dept had called me back we could have contacted the other groups attending the pool that day and I would still like to, to find out if they have sick kids but once I explained what we had going on to the Health Department they took over and required the pool to be closed. And I am confident in our procedures AT school as no one is sick in any other classroom-we have very strict procedures. We will however absolutely discuss procedures when out on field trips!

  • Kate July 24, 2013 (4:30 pm)

    Any update on this? Given how hysterical everyone is getting, it would be nice to get the end of the story . . . as much as that is possible, at least.

  • Mama3boys July 24, 2013 (8:01 pm)

    Just as a note 3/5 of my family got a bug 2 days apart (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday). The first two family had it in Seattle and we spread it like wildfire thinking it was food poisoning until I got it without the same food intake. None of us where at the wading pool (for once!). It spreads very VERY easily even with my type A clorox, gloves, new toothbrushes, etc precautions. If there is news if this was noro I’d be happy to tell Public Health any info – and I’d love an update. Keeping my fingers crossed that the 2 kids in my family who didn’t get it don’t!

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