COVID-19 Update: Pennsylvania & Others Could See Pool Openings This Month

A handful of states could potentially see pools reopening this month, though most will depend on local authorities.

As we continue to try to keep tabs on which states have officially reopened pools and aquatic facilities, here’s an update on six states we haven’t yet reported on. Some of these states never issued stay at home orders, and others are beginning to lift restrictions in certain areas.

You can track our reporting on all states through our state-by-state pool reopening index here.


A swimming hotbed, Pennsylvania will allow pools to reopen as their counties move into “yellow” and “green” phases. Pennsylvania’s plan allows outdoor pools to reopen when a county moves to the yellow phase, and indoor pools can reopen at 50% capacity when a county moves to green.

On May 29, 17 of Pennsylvania’s counties will move to green status, and another eight will move to yellow. Governor Tom Wolf says that all remaining counties in the “red” phase are expected to move to yellow by June 5. Counties must remain in yellow for at least 14 days before transitioning to green.


Idaho has begun moving into Stage 2 of its reopening plan. Indoor pools can reopen in Stage 2, with limits on the number of patrons in pools. Kiddie pools and slides will also remain closed.

Stage 3 has a target window of May 30-June 12, though the state still needs to meet certain criteria to move on to the next stage. In stage 3, outdoor pools and splash parks can open, though the number of occupants will still be limited. Swimming lessons that require direct contact between the instructor and swimmer will also be off-limits during that stage.


Tennessee Governor Bill Lee increased the state’s limit on social gatherings to 50 in mid-May. The state’s “Tennessee Pledge” allows pools to reopen, provided group sizes and lane sharing are limited. At least a few of the state’s counties have begun opening public pools (here and here), though not all counties or cities have begun to reopen.


Vermont began allowing outdoor pools to reopen as of May 19, provided they can comply with guidelines limiting gatherings to 10 people or less (in most cases) and prohibiting groups from gathering before and after activities. The state’s stay-at-home order ended on May 15, though it’s not clear yet when indoor pools will begin reopening.

North Dakota

North Dakota never issued a stay-at-home order. Recreational pools and water playgrounds are allowed to remain open, though they have to abide by a set of social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

South Dakota

South Dakota is much the same, without ever issuing a stay-at-home order. The Sioux City Journal does report that Sioux City pools remain closed, though there does not appear to be a state-wide order mandating closures of pools or aquatic facilities.

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3 years ago

While there hasn’t been any mention of swimming from the Governor, some counties California are allowing structured swimming under the previously released “summer camp” guidance. Small groups, consistent membership, one per lane, etc. are just part of the restrictions. Local swim teams and water polo clubs are rebranding themselves for the near term to earn county approval and get kids back in the water. At least it’s a start.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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