Arizona Rolls Back Pool Reopening Guidelines amid Coronavirus Outbreak

In the same week as the University of Arizona announced a pause on returning student-athletes to campus, the state has rolled back some of its pool opening orders in an effort to curb a spike in new cases in the state.

The new orders, which can be read in full here, include the following new information about pools.

Pools may continue to operate as follows:

Pools operated as part of a public accommodation, such as those at hotels but not those at multi-housing complexes, shall prohibit groups larger than 10 from congregating together in or near the pool.

Privately owned pools located in public areas such as those at multi-housing complexes or other privately owned facilities may continue to be open provided that signage is included at all entrances to the pool reminding people to maintain physical distance and that groups larger than 10 should not congregate.

According to a representative from the Arizona COVID-19 hotline contacted by SwimSwam on Tuesday, the limits on more than 10 congregating will extend to municipal pools as well. When asked specifically about how to define a congregation, as in if there could be 10 swimmers at each end of a 50 meter pool, the representative reiterated the language about congregations of 10 and directed us to local police departments for further clarification.

Arizona pools were first allowed to reopen on May 13 at 50% capacity.

Municipal pools fall under the first part of the directive, though it seems as though a patchwork of regulations that may or may not align with the state’s have developed.

The City of Mesa, for its part, is limiting its facilities to no more than 50 people total in entire facilities, including coaches, lifeguards, and staff, in light of the new order. Mesa is home to some of the country’s biggest municipal aquatics centers. That includes two nearly-identical facilities at the Skyline Aquatic Center and the Kino Aquatic Center. Those facilities include a 50-meter pool, a separate diving well, and a separate shallow water pool, all outdoors. The Skyline Aquatic Center has been a regular hosting stop on the USA Swimming Pro Swimming Series circuit until recently.

Neighboring Gilbert, Arizona updated its guidance that “all Gilbert community pools will have reduced capacity to 25%” and that “registered activities, such as swimming lessons, will continue with physical distancing modifications previously implemented.”

Phoenix already closed its 29 public pools and 9 splash pads for the entire summer and through the high school season prior to the new order.

Local USA Swimming clubs in Arizona contacted by SwimSwam on Tuesday all said that they were still working with their local municipalities to figure out what, exactly, this means for swim teams. It’s possible that will be flexibility to consider swim teams to fall under youth sports and activities guidelines rather than pool guidelines.

In addition, indoor gyms and fitness clubs or centers, water parks, and tubing operators must pause operations until July 27, 2020.

Bars and movie theaters are also closed until July 27th.

The new order will remain in place until further notice and will be considered for repeal or revision every two weeks after July 27, 2020.

The state has also delayed the start of in-person instruction until August 17th, which in turn also delays school-related athletics and activities until the same date, the AIA says. Arizona schools usually resume instruction in the first full week of August, and many had planned to start as soon as late July. Most schools have stopped voluntary summer athletics workouts.

On Sunday, Arizona reported a new record of 3,809 new positive cases for coronavirus. In the early months of the global pandemic, the state was relatively-unscathed, even seeing a decline in cases to around 200 per day in the latter days of May. A spike over the last month, however, has left Arizona with almost 80,000 total cases, ranking it 10th among US states (Arizona is ranked 16th in the US by population).

Arizona, like many states, has seen a spike in new cases and hospitalizations but hasn’t seen a rise in deaths at the same level. Arizona’s has reported just under 40 new deaths per day over the last week, which is an increase from around 20 in the weeks prior. While the number of deaths has doubled, the number of new infections has increased 10-fold.

Experts hypothesize that the lack of a corresponding increase in deaths can be attributed to a number of factors. That includes theories that there is a lag, with a larger spike in deaths coming in the next few weeks; a shift in the demographic of those being infected to younger people less likely to die, combined with improvements in isolating elderly care facilities with the most vulnerable people from infection.

While other municipalities have rolled back pool opening in response to increases in cases, Arizona is the first state to have announced a rollback.

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This really sucks. As a Floridian that’s been training for a month I can’t even imagine us closing up again.


The mob gets what the mob wants. I hope it doesn’t come to that in Florida. Desantis has been the best nationally so far.

The Importer AND Exporter

Best at what?


Desantis. Best at allowing a public health crisis to spread across his state. Florida now shutting down


don’t remind be of the truth ;(


I’m sure NY, NJ, MI would love to have someone as “bad” as Desantis…..

IU Swammer

Given that they’re pretty much through this, and that Desantis seems proud that he didn’t stop this from happening when he could have, I don’t think anyone in NY, NJ, or MI would want to see how much worse they would have had it with Desantis.


Good Lord! If New York were a country, it would rank 5th in the world in COVID deaths. Cuomo killed thousands of people by ordering nursing homes to take COVID patients. To make matters worse, New Yorkers seeded the entire country with this mess when they fled the city. Stop blaming the South for this!

Steve Nolan

Everybody – Cuomo AND Desantis can both be horrible. (And they are!)


Ah, so the strategy of killing off the old people = the right strategy, huh?


Thanks for clarifying. I actually thought it was Chris Desantis being talked about

Corn Pop

I believe Florida tried t o put a border up to stop ppl entering quiet early . One of the seemingly 76,000 judges you have stopped it . Interstate travel ought to h ave been limited in Feb along with international .


Saving the lives of his geriatric population unlike MY, NJ, PA, MI


There is no state that is abbreviated as MY.


Myoming. Duh.


You just gotta switch the M to Wumbo.

Hank Monroe

One factor to consider, and this group won’t want to hear it, is that testing in Florida hit 80,000 people the other day with a 12% positive rate. Increased testing is a factor, I don’t think the only one, but is a factor in the increase of positives. Add in beach goers ignoring social distancing guidelines, protests, bars, etc. and there’s plenty to explain the increase in cases. The key will be in 2-3 weeks to see if the deaths match the spike in positives. Some are saying this time around the population getting infected is younger and that’s why the deaths aren’t spiking like the positive results.


And 80k per day is NOT a great number. Massachusetts was testing 300k a day at their peak. They are… quite a bit smaller than Florida

Gymbro Fisher

@hiswimcoach You’re right. Desantis is number 1… Number 1 in new cases


lol @ genuinely thinking DeSantis is doing the best job


Who is doing better per capita out of the large states other than Texas?

All this cases talk is yet another example of moving the goalposts.


Let’s chat in a month. You sound a lot like “Sweden really has the answer” guy.

Corn Pop

Swedes are practical ppl . They got rid of 1000s of elderly who were taking up resources .. Now not taking up resources. Simple . Some minister has made a n apology but it was very short . Still I would like to go on those spotless trains &, ferries for a few weeks. That neat world we all dream about in Ikea.

Hank Monroe

@NDB, Sweden is comparable to most countries according to the data.


Sweden has higher deaths per capita than the US, so far. Look it up.


You complaining about moving the goalposts is actually hilarious. Thanks for that.

Ol' Longhorn

Daily COVID-19 hospitalizations for Texas went from 1500 on 5/26 (reopened for Memorial Day weekend) to 6500 today. And the last week it’s been exponential. I would hope to God every state was doing better than Texas. But Florida’s going to give us a run for our money.

Ol' Longhorn

To be fair, back in March/April, I’m now fairly certain that most of the hospitalized patients in the Texas Med Center had COVID-19, we just didn’t have adequate testing (it took like 14 days for some of the initial cases to come back), and we didn’t understand the protean clinical manifestations of the virus. Lots of GI symptoms, kidney failure, and not just the respiratory symptoms.


Testing for covid in March was a nightmare. Turnaround time was a joke. Only the sickest of the sick and those just off a cruise ship or plane from italy or china met testing criteria. Wasn’t until independent labs had testing capabilities that more widespread testing occurred. By that point the S already hit the f.

Hank Monroe

Don’t worry ol’ Longhorn, you still have the Alamo if Florida beats you out,


lets look at what’s actually happening ….

Hank Monroe

They didn’t like that round of facts I guess?


HISSWIMCOACH: Give me liberty AND give me death!


Just because younger people are now being infected, that doesn’t mean they won’t breathe on an older person, or anyone else. Rise in infection = bad. Wearing mask = good. (LIke explaining not touching fire to a 2 year old).


Meanwhile, here’s a study that could explain why NY’s case rate is lower than FL’s right now:

If this is correct, then FL indeed did the right thing. Protect the older population, let it burn through the non-at-risk population, and be done with it after hitting 15-20% of the total population (as it’s going to no matter what we do/did from a lockdown standpoint) while minimizing deaths.

Of course, you’d have to look beyond the “OMG cases are going up” metric without any other context. Unfortunately, the message and education dissemination is severely lacking within those who have the mic right now.


You’re absolutely right about the message.

I’m shocked by the total lack of skepticism from
The swim community.


I am not shocked about you ignoring facts, that’s your specialty

IU Swammer

Yep. The mob of Arizonians wanted Arizona to stay “open” and not have a mask mandate. The mob got what they wanted, and now Arizona is dealing with one of the worst outbreaks in the world. #top20.


Can’t defend DeSantis so you bring up Texas while accusing others of moving the goalposts lol. Big congrats on learning your first logical fallacy though!!!


You didn’t follow my argument. From a data standpoint only TX is doing better. The focus is still on Desantis.

I’m talking about the actual data; not all the infections noise that you are buying wholesale from the media.


I still don’t follow your argument. But I’m keen to watch the trainwreck as you hemorrhage trying to justify this. You keep asking us to focus on “deaths.” Ok, let’s do that. 22 states have fewer deaths per capita than does Florida, which you said was 2nd-best. 9 states have fewer deahts per capita than does Texas. You’re going to try and come up with a lame argument about “large states,” claiming that highly-populated states have a different challenge than small states because of population doesn’t. Ok so fine, population density probably matters. Texas is not a very dense state at all – about middle-of-the-road, because among their big metros, they have gigantic swaths of low-density areas. But ok, so… Read more »


“Large states”. No use comparing TX to rural states.
I stand corrected that California is doing slightly better.

Now go bash Newsom as much as Desantis if it’s not political.

Ol' Longhorn

Surely you’re a parody account.


Get off the internet


You get off the internet. 7 day moving average of deaths in US just dropped for 24th straight day.


84.7% of Texas’ population lives in urban areas.

Oregon (at 81.0%) is similar and is doing better.
Utah (at 90.6%) is more urban and is doing better.

Your move.

Again, I implore you, just say what you mean: “Florida and Texas are #1 and #2 in having Republican governors doing Republican things, the data proves it.”

Ol' Longhorn

Fox News is not “actual data.” We’re screaming for mercy in Texas. Houston, with the largest medical center in the world, is at capacity, and it’s all COVID-19 cases. It’s so bad, in fact, the idiot Governor asked the med center hospital CEO’s to quit publicly reporting the data the other day. The CEOs do, however, report it to their doctors at the hospitals, and let me tell you, it’s a shi*t show. COVID-19 cases are all we’re seeing. And Florida will be that way, too, in a week or two. The only positive compared to the initial peak a few months ago is that sick COVID-19 patients are surviving because ICU’s know what to do and dexamethasone seems to… Read more »


What would you say the average age is of the Covid patients you’re seeing now versus what you were seeing two months ago?

Hank Monroe

I didn’t see anyone cite Fox News?


What you need to do is say that swim practice is a protest and then you could do whatever you want and it wouldn’t even be blamed for new cases of Covid.

ct swim fan

Your hero did not even know how to put on a mask when this started.

Hank Monroe

Come on man, that’s a low blow…comment image

Captain Ahab

I agree. Good thing Florida elected Desantis and not Andrew Gillum. Because Gillum would had Florida closed down until late February 2021.

Corn Pop

Something about male escorts & drug overdoses .


Desantis is very good at firing people who publish REAL data and do not follow his guidelines to massage and falsify it to paint a rosy picture

cynthia curran

Lucky, La Fitness allows 3 people and this helps me do some workouts.


This is what happens when bureaucrats are put in charge of making policy at a local level… you get a hodge-podge of regulations that don’t make a whole lot of sense. “The representative reiterated the language about congregations of 10 and directed us to local police departments for further clarification.” In other words, they’re saying “I don’t have a good answer for, go take it up with the police, who also won’t have a good answer for you other than ‘those are the governor’s orders.” My kids train at Skyline. They wear masks anytime they’re not in the water, they swim two to a lane, starting from opposite ends, and the team has worked out a schedule to allow all… Read more »


better rules need to be put in place for teams. My team for instance is only doing the two to a lane and nothing else. That’s not enough to stop the spread and nothings going to change in conservative areas unless strict regulations are put in place.

MD Swimdad

Quick math for you. CDC estimates there have been 25M cases in the US so far. Over a 4 month period that is over 200K cases per day. So positive reported test rates of 30K or 40K per day are meaningless. The death rate per week is still going down. Around 10% of the country has had it. It isn’t going away and a vaccine isn’t coming soon. Most of us have had it or will have it over the next 2 years. We have figured out how to treat it so the mortality rate is 2X to 3X flu and getting closer all the time. Stop the hysteria. Protect the at-risk. Take some reasonable measures in hot stop areas… Read more »


Hard to take the same measures as the flu when the flu has a vaccine and Covid-19 does not.

I agree with taking some reasonable measures:

1. Social distancing
2. Mandate masks when social distancing is not an option.
3. Wash your hands frequently
4. Avoid large gatherings



Georgia has reached a 3-month low in its number of recorded COVID deaths, roughly 2 months after [they] began to lift its lockdown restrictions amid sharp criticism that a too-hasty reopening would result in widespread fatalities.


I applaud anything positive in life, especially reduced death rates. That’s great news!!!

What do you attribute the reduction to?

ct swim fan

Looks flat previously. Last few weeks cases have exploded exponentially according to the graph. Hospitalizations have gone way up as well.

MD Swimdad

I’m not getting your point about flu. From CDC 2019/2020 season. Vaccine 45% effective. 47.5M cases 43K deaths (mid point of estimate range) and there were hot-spots that resulted in short term school closings. I’d love to avoid both flu and COVID 19 but my chances of doing so over several years is not good so I don’t intend to quarantine for either.

Also MD Also SwimDad

I’m not getting your point about not getting the point. 47.5M cases is roughly 15% US population, and the # infected is a function of R0 and partially effective vaccine. COVID-19 thus far in US ~25 million infected (recent CDC estimate of 10x confirmed) and 127k dead. So case fatality rate is 5x higher than 2019 flu, R0 is higher, and no partially effective vaccine. Herd immunity estimated after 60% of population infected. What part don’t you understand?


I hope that MD does not mean Medical Doctor. Quick math for you: As of now 2.57M cases have been confirmed. You are saying 22.3 million asymptomatic cases. LOL. A paper was published in Italy today indicating 46% of asymptomatic cases. 25,000 died within 4 months. Worst flu season in past decade was 2018 when 17,000 people died (do not use 60,000 CDC ESTIMATED as you know that is a wrong number). Does not look 2X or 3X to me and I AM an MD too (Math Doctor). No proof whatsoever that 10% of country had it. In Sweden, that was wide open from beginning, they found 4% “had it.” To achieve herd immunity, that you like so much, we… Read more »

MD Swimdad

Pay attention much? The CDC said 25M cases. The CDC also has flu data for the past 10 years. I used 2019/2020. There are worse years. Look it up. Are they lying about it? Go quarantine yourself for the next few years; that’s your choice. Luckily you don’t have any influence. But keep trying to spread your hysteria and lack of any rational path forward. Again It is your right to do so. Meanwhile deaths per week keep decreasing no matter how much you seem to want them not to.


Take this serious and do your part. Wear a mask and quarantine. Everyone needs to join this effort.


Wake Forest Baptist Hospital is conducting serology testing here in NC. So far they have found 12-14% have COVID antibodies…probably higher now that our case counts are going parabolic.


Psychodad, imagine one person in a family having the virus and having 4 other family members. The other members are not going to get tested obviously so that’s 4 in reported cases. Things like that happen like that, creating a false representation of cases. Also diffficulty to get testing in the early days and asymptomatic patients etc


Yes, but what are the long-term consequences on major organs such as the kidney and liver. Are we going to have folks needing transplants in 10 years b/c there insides are failing? Personally, I think we need a world-wide shutdown, everyone (even Santa’s elves up at the N.P.). Marshall Law until this thing dies out.


WOAH. first off, this was a bit surreal to troll SwimSwam comments and see my own preferred moniker already here! Thankfully, this imposter THEO had a pretty good take and didn’t damage the brand. I agree about it being possible to run a swim practice with virtually no risk of COVID spread, especially in small groups. But I must disagree and say that I think the “patchwork” of different levels is a total mess at the national level and when I look at countries like New Zealand, China, or France that have like totally conquered this thing and are laughing/crying at us as they hold hands at restaurants…. the patchwork is a big culprit here. Always remember: we could have… Read more »


vaccines will only aggravate the problem anyway ….


Curious what all the Olympic hopefuls in Scottsdale, Tempe and Tucson will do.


In the water Monday, out of the water Tuesday, back in the water Wednesday….

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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