The upswing in coronavirus cases combined with San Joaquin County remaining on the state’s monitoring list has all but signaled the end for summer recreational swimming and swimming lessons in Escalon.
“I can’t foresee it’s going to happen this year,” City Manager Tammy Alcantor said of the community pool opening. “We’ve pretty much given up hope.”
City officials had been holding out a little bit of hope that they could salvage a session or two of swimming lessons – traditionally given over two-week periods – and having the pool open, even briefly, for recreational swimming. However, more cases of the virus recorded in the county over the past few weeks, as well as increased hospitalizations, have made it virtually impossible to get the clearance needed for that type of gathering.
“I was also intending to open up City Hall again this week,” Alcantor said of hoping to be able to welcome the public back into the facility for paying bills, asking questions and attending city council, planning and recreation commission meetings. That has also been put on hold for the time being; the regular Monday night council meeting of July 20 was hosted online, not in person.
“It’s so hard to plan for anything these days,” Alcantor pointed out.
A plan in place Monday, for example, could change by Tuesday, based on coronavirus cases. That’s why the city also has not been able to formally announce sign-ups for youth soccer – which they still hope to do later this summer – or plan for a youth basketball program during the winter months. Whether the city can utilize gyms at Escalon High School and El Portal Middle School for youth basketball will depend on what sports are being played by school teams at that time.
“Everything is kind of in a holding pattern,” admitted Alcantor.
She said city officials will be keeping residents updated as much as possible on sign-ups for soccer and youth basketball, along with the planned flag football program for the fall, with a hoped for start to that season in mid-October.
Meanwhile, the city is also reminding residents about the changes necessary to be “water wise” during the hot summer months. Due to high water demand during the hours of 4 a.m. and 9 a.m., it is important to reduce water use during these hours. Accordingly, residents are asked to set their landscape watering schedules to run between midnight and 4 a.m. and to program sprinklers to run for three to five minutes at a time. Also, the use of water hoses without a shut off nozzle is prohibited.
And in other city business, the filing period for those seeking to run for two available seats on the Escalon City Council has opened. The four-year terms of Jeff Laugero and Walt Murken will be up for election in November. Murken had previously indicated he would not be seeking re-election. Alcantor said Laugero and current appointed councilman David Bellinger have both pulled the necessary papers to get the process started to run for the seats. The filing period runs through Aug. 7 unless no incumbent files; then it is extended by five days.