KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 20, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
As Memorial Day weekend approaches, many Katy residents wonder what the launch of the summer season will look like during this ongoing pandemic. Katy’s Typhoon Texas is proactively making preparations to open, while local swimming pools are working to meet the guidelines required for reopening.
Photo courtesy: Typhoon Texas
Typhoon Texas Hopes to Open Soon
Governor Greg Abbott gave the green light earlier this month for public swimming pools to open, with certain restrictions. Waterparks have yet to be included in any of the phases to reopen Texas, but Typhoon Texas in Katy is hoping that will change and they will be allowed to open Memorial Day weekend.
“I would plan to take my family and I don’t really have that many concerns about swimming parks,” says Katy mom Loren Allardyce. “I have concerns about other areas and other activities but not really public swimming.”
“We are ready to open we are just waiting for health and state officials to give us the green light," says John Pham, Director of Brand Management. They don’t expect that will happen until June.
Typhoon Texas is busy hiring for their summer season and making preparations to meet any projected guidelines, and then some, to ensure the safety of their guests.
“The waterpark will operate within capacity and social distancing guidelines when those are established,” says Bernard Kaplan, Typhoon Texas’ public relations representative. “Decals and markers will be added to help guests maintain a safe distance while at attractions and food and beverage outlets while several loungers and seating areas have been removed to help parties keep a safe distance from one another.”
While Typhoon Texas remains closed to the public, the Smokehouse at the waterpark is serving BBQ. They have sold out several times.
Guests Can Expect Changes
Guests can expect many changes when the waterpark does reopen. This includes specific plans that have been designated to fit each attraction such as ensuring the safe distancing on their raft rides.
Laurie Minard plans to take her grandson, Quincy to Typhoon Texas once it opens. “I’m sure they would have appropriate line spacing,” she says.
Typhoon Texas will also follow CDC guidelines by recommending face coverings.
“(The) CDC does recommend masks should not be worn while in the water. Cloth face coverings can be difficult to breathe through when they’re wet,” states their website.
Texas Government Allows Openings of Public Pools
Public indoor and outdoor pools are allowed to be open with 25% occupancy. This was effective May 8 as part of Governor Abbott’s revised “parks, beaches, rivers and lakes order.” In Katy, local pools are preparing to start their summer season.
Katy Moms Address Pool Openings
While Katy families are anxious to get back to some summer normalcy, others are hesitant.
"I will not take my children to a public pool this summer," says Stacey Limas Rayner, on the Katy Mom's Group. "While I understand the virus should be inactive within the water, I can not trust that my children could be properly distanced from others at all times, and the virus can live on surfaces like railings, lockers, chairs, and within restrooms. For me, it simply is not worth the risk."
Cinco Ranch to Announce 2020 Summer Pool Schedule May 28
The Cinco Ranch area has 11 pools that are accessible to Cinco Ranch residents and their guests. They are currently training lifeguard staff and say that their 2020 Summer schedule will be posted on their website on May 28.
“The Board of Directors, Parks and Recreation Committee, Onsite Management team, and pool contractor have been working to prepare the Association for a beautiful pool season,” states management in a letter on their website. “We welcomed the Governor’s announcement that authorized pools to open although we still have limitations on the Water Park and splash pads.”
According to the Cinco Ranch website, community splash pads and waterparks are closed until further notice.
No Evidence of COVID-19 Spread in Water
“There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water,” states the CDC.
Still, in an effort to be cautious the Texas government has outlined requirements that public pools will have to adhere to when they open.
Government Safety Precautions for Public Pools
Maintain at least 6-feet separation from others not within the individual's group at the pool.
If such distancing is not feasible, other measures such as face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation should be practiced.
Self-screen before going. Be mindful or persisting or new symptoms that could be linked to COVID-19. See an updated list of symptoms here.
Wash or sanitize hands after any interaction.
Consider wearing a face covering, but face coverings should not be worn in the water.
Individuals aged 65 or older are at a higher risk of COVID-19. To the extent possible, avoid contact within six feet with individuals aged 65 and older. Individuals aged 65 and older should stay at home as much as possible.
“I am looking forward to pools opening,” says Katy mom Andrea Headley on the Katy Moms Facebook Group. “With all the changes our children have had to go through, swimming is something they love to do. We plan on going as much as possible!”
Many Katy pools are preparing to reopen soon. Check your local pool for updates and information.
Are you ready to return to Typhoon Texas and Katy pools? Let us know your plans in the comments.