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County Statement on Social Distancing in Facilities

picture of the cobb aquatic center
January 10, 2022

Members of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners and the county’s PARKS Director have received a large number of emails concerning recent public health guidelines currently in place in all Cobb County government facilities, including aquatic centers.

Cobb County schools rent county government aquatic centers to hold practices and swim meets.  As such the use of the Mountain View Aquatic Center and the Central Aquatic Center are in high demand. 

While most other high school sports have their own facilities, including multiple football fields, baseball fields, and basketball gyms, Cobb County Schools have not constructed or built one aquatic center and have relied on county government facilities.  Cobb County has been able to partner with our school system and provide venues for swimming and diving for several months out of the year, while also providing space for the general public, youth swim associations, and our important programs such as Learn to Swim and Aquarobics. 

Shortly after Chairwoman Lisa Cupid signed a Declaration of Emergency in December due largely to rapidly rising COVID numbers, the County Manager reinstituted a mask and social distancing policy that affects all county facilities.  Department Managers were instructed to look at all venues that host large crowds and adjust capacity levels appropriately.  This has resulted in changes across the county impacting group rentals, youth basketball events, as well as county events in theatres, art centers, libraries, and senior services buildings.

Chairwoman Cupid said she understands these changes will impact how many people will be able to attend events held at county government facilities. 

“As the mother of student-athletes, I understand the frustration from not being able to watch your children compete,” she said.  “However, public health leaders have impressed upon me now is not the time to have large groups gathering together in confined spaces during this record COVID surge.  Our local hospitals are nearing a breaking point, and our staff has been severely impacted due to rising cases in the county.”

The county’s PARKS Director has been in contact with Cobb school athletic directors who assured him they will be able to continue holding swim meets with the social distancing requirements in place.  Similar requirements were put in place during the initial COVID surge in 2020 to address the health and safety concerns of our residents.

“This is a difficult time for everyone,” said County Manager Dr. Jackie McMorris. “We appreciate Cobb schools’  ongoing cooperation to keep these events going safely to protect both participants and our employees.  In these challenging times, proper social distancing and reducing the number of people inside confined facilities at these events will enable us to keep the facilities’ doors open.”