Newtown Athletic Club owner Jim Worthington is planning to open pools at the facility on June 6 and summer camps on June 8. He is also standing by a decision to completely reopen the facility by July 1, with or without state approval.
Worthington made the announcement on social media Wednesday evening. As Bucks will likely be moving to the yellow phase of Governor Tom Wolf’s plan on June 5, the decision to reopen the pool and resume summer camps is following state guidelines.
The Wolf Administration released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet regarding summer recreation late last week. It includes information about public bathing, youth camps, and team sports.
“Of course there will be social distancing guidelines,” said Worthington of the pool reopen.
The facility will make adjustments on setup, and also conduct temperature checks for everyone who enters. Additionally, he said the club will not charge members for using the pool for the month of June.
“Until I can open up the entire club, I don’t feel comfortable doing that,” said Worthington. “I also don’t want anybody to think that we’re in a rush to open up for financial reasons. That’s not why we’re opening up. We’re opening up because we make people’s lives better.”
As for the planned reopen of the entire facility on July 1, Worthington is confident the facility will be safe.
Worthington said he spoke with U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, a personal friend, to develop guidelines for the NAC. Adams then sent the plan to the CDC, and it is now the standard for facilities throughout the nation.
He believes it is important to be open for the Fourth of July weekend.
“As an American I think that’s my right to do so,” said Worthington.
In April, the Newtown Athletic Club opened its doors to help Bucks County during the pandemic. The Army Corps of Engineers had approved the site for use as a temporary medical care facility to serve hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
County officials prepped the site for 100 beds, but fortunately the number of patients stabilized before hospitals became overwhelmed.