During a news conference Wednesday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced community pools can reopen in Maryland at 25% capacity starting Friday. However, Hogan’s announcement does not apply in Montgomery County.
In phase 1 of Montgomery County’s COVID-19 recovery plan, which Marc Elrich announced Thursday, swimming pools (both private and public) are to remain closed. On Friday, Montgomery County released a statement reiterating that pools are still closed, but announcing public and private community pools will reopen in phase 2 of the county’s recovery plan.
The county released guidelines, based on recommendations form Maryland Department of Health, about what restrictions will be in place when pools can reopen. For sure, there will be restrictions on the number of patrons allowed to enter a pool facility. Other restrictions will be determined based on the size of a pool.
Although pools remain closed in Montgomery County, now is the time for public and private community pool operators to schedule pre-opening inspections. Read the news release for the latest: https://t.co/s2Rpg7NP67 pic.twitter.com/kRwr9omRxh
— Montgomery County MD (@MontgomeryCoMD) May 29, 2020
Here is the health department’s list of restrictions:
- Swimmers must maintain a minimum, six-foot physical distance while in the pool and on the grounds;
- Staff and patrons will be required to wear face coverings when outside of the water whenever possible;
- Pool must maintain a supply of soap and hand sanitizer for use;
- Pools must maintain an ample supply of equipment such as noodles and kickboards (where allowed) to minimize sharing.
- Pool operators will be required to disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least twice daily and clean floors, toilets and sinks with soap and water daily.
- Wading pools, hot tubs, spray or splash pads and lazy river pools will remain closed.
It is unclear when Montgomery County can move to phase 2 of its COVID-19 recovery plan, so therefore, it’s unclear when (or if) pools can reopen in the county this summer.
In the meantime, although pools are closed, county officials encourage community pool operators to schedule pre-opening inspections by contacting Licensure & Regulatory Services at 240-777-3986 or by calling 311.