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Polo Pool to reopen Friday after employees' tests come back negative

The Polo Pool closed on Monday afternoon due to some staff members being potentially exposed to COVID-19 that may have stemmed from Polo High School’s prom on July 18.

But the pool will reopen Friday at normal hours after nine employees tested Tuesday and received seven negatives on Thursday with two still waiting on results, Pool Manager Kayla Bergstrom said Thursday.

“We have enough negative tests and staff to run the pool,” Bergstrom said. “We cleaned the entire facility during the closing.”

The Ogle County Health Department was notified of the negatives and the pool’s intentions to reopen Friday.

Bergstrom said she understands why some members of the public may not want to attend the pool after the scare, but she isn’t worried about the turnout, with attendance already limited to 50 under state guidelines.

“We’re opening for the people that are comfortable coming here,” Bergstrom said. “And we’re ready.”

The pool, operated by the City of Polo, voluntarily closed after staff members learned of their exposure on Monday. The Ogle County Health Department did not mandate the closure and is working with the pool and the City of Polo on getting testing done.

“We’re not sure how long we’re going to close for,” Bergstrom said on Tuesday. “We did it on our own. Staff members were exposed. We’re taking precautions and getting people tested. If they’re all negative, then we’ll open the doors. We’re following health department recommendations.”

Bergstrom said she had eight employees lined up for testing at the pool. Polo City Clerk Sydney Bartelt spoke to the OCHD on the pool’s behalf.

OCHD Public Administrator Kyle Auman said contact tracing related to the situation is being performed.

“There were potential links to the prom,” Auman said. “These are the types of situations we want to try to avoid and why we discourage large masked gatherings. We’re still working on contact tracing. We’ve had 50 people linked to the situation. The prom and various other activities.”

Auman said he “heard” that the prom, held at the Brandywine in Dixon on July 18, was consistent with masking and social distancing but that transmission can still happen through things like touching door handles.

Polo School District Superintendent Kelly Mandrell declined to comment on the situation Tuesday.