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Palm Desert Aquatic Center reopens lap swim amid historic heat wave

The Western United States continues to experience excessive heat, with dangerous temperatures here in the Coachella Valley. The Palm Desert Aquatic Center is providing some relief.

It’s a cool way to workout. The Palm Desert Aquatic Center is now back in business for lap swimming. Swimmers can sign up for a 45-minute time slot online. One person is allowed per lane in each session.

“We’re glad that it’s only a 45 minute swim session for people because we don’t want anyone coming back and overtly pushing themselves, so our guards are really paying attention to how often someone’s stopping at the wall, how hard they’re pushing themselves, if they’re coming out and resting on a chair, because you know, a lot of these people haven’t been in the water for about five months so we want to make sure people come in and you take your swim slow,” said David Keyes, the aquatic manager.

The reopening happened just in time, as California is in the middle of a historic heat wave.

“The weather’s a huge factor on that, a couple weeks ago a we were dealing with 120 degree days out here with the elevated humidity and the cooling centers being limited to what they are, people were looking for those resources that aren’t available, so as soon as we can get those going for the community, we’re all about it,” said Michael Marshall, operations manager.

Many of the Aquatic Center’s facilities, like the playground and locker rooms, are not open yet. Swimmers are encouraged to come ready and hydrated. 

“People were so excited that we’re opening the doors again,” Marshall said.


The Aquatic Center has adapted new protocols to protect against the virus as well.

“As we’ve learned with chlorinated swimming pool water, it does do a very good job of killing the bacteria and viruses that we’re all concerned about right now,” Marshall said.

On top of that, staff uses the 15 minutes in between sessions to clean all surfaces that have been touched. 

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Taylor Begley

Taylor Begley is a Sports Anchor and Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. You can also catch her anchoring weather on the weekends. Learn more about Taylor here.

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