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Paul Nelson Aquatic Center, lawn bowling club green set to reopen July 20
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Paul Nelson Aquatic Center, lawn bowling club green set to reopen July 20

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Santa Maria's Paul Nelson Aquatic Center and the lawn bowling club's green are both scheduled to reopen to the public July 20 but with some restrictions and in accordance with Santa Barbara County COVID-19 guidelines, according to the city's Recreation and Parks Department

The public pool will reopen for fitness courses, swim training programs and lap swim, although lap swimmers will be required to use a lane reservation system, said Recreation Services Manager Dennis Smitherman. 

The city is in the process of recertifying lifeguard staff over the next two weeks, Smitherman said, adding that information on the pool will be available on the city's website after July 13. 

The pool closed in January for an extensive renovation project and was kept shuttered at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic to comply with public health orders. 

Additionally, a city-approved reopening plan for the lawn bowling club limits the number of players, requires masks, social distancing and limited access to the Jocelyn Bowling Green clubhouse. 

More recreation programs are slated to resume gradually over the next few months as county health orders are updated, according to Smitherman, who added that other city recreation centers will remain closed for now because they are typically the location of large social events. 

Not all sports reopening plans were approved, such as the Senior Swingers softball program, which is considered an organized sport by the county Public Health Department and won't be able to resume practices at the Hagerman Sports Complex, according to Recreation and Parks Director Alex Posada. 

“We realize that the continued closure of these centers will impact several family events planned over this summer," Posada said. "We encourage anyone with a pending reservation to contact the department over the telephone to discuss rescheduling options."

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