Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced during a press conference on Thursday afternoon that outdoor pools in his state would be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity beginning Friday, May 29 at 5:00 PM. The lone hold out is Montgomery County, which is a co-owner of the large Rockville-Mongtomery Swim Club, which means that club will likely have to wait to reopen.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has also announced that his state will allow Richmond and Northern Virginia to move into Phase One of the state’s reopening plan on Friday. Much of the state has already allowed pools to open, with a maximum of one swimmer per lane, previously, but left restrictions in place in some of the harder-hit parts of the state.
Northern Virginia and Richmond are home to much of Virginia’s densest swimming communities. The restriction of 1 swimmer per lane, with a maximum of 10 team members participating at the same time, remains in place for all opened areas of the state.
This about-face comes after a week of big pressure from multiple DC-area teams, including the country’s largest swim club Nation’s Capital, which has sites in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
Of the team’s 4 listed facilities in Maryland, only one, at the Quince Orchard Swim & Tennis Club, is outdoors.
Paris Jacobs, the COO Machine Aquatics which has been leading an effort to meet with President Donald Trump this week to discuss ways to reopen the country’s pools, says that her team will have access to outdoor pool space in Prince George’s, Maryland starting on Monday when the county lifts its restrictive orders. The team has also contracted outdoor pool space in Virginia.
While not regular Machine sites, the club has rented several outdoor pools in Maryland and Virginia that they hope to use when restrictions are listed.
Jacobs says that she believes, if both Maryland and Virginia allow outdoor pools into a phase 1 opening, that her team will be able to get around 500 swimmers into the water at least 1 day per week.
Washington D.C. has also announced that they will end their stay-at-home order Friday, but pools are expected to remain closed for the foreseeable future.
Maryland’s general trend in new coronavirus cases continues to be generally upward, though this week has seen some signs that the state may be peaking. The number of new reported deaths caused by COVID-19 has been on a steady decline for several weeks. The state has 48,748 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 2,392 confirmed deaths caused by COVID-19.
Virginia, meanwhile, has seen its two highest days of new coronavirus cases this week after recently entering phase 1. While deaths in the state did begin to drop last week, they have resumed an upward climb this week.
Minnesota swim teams can start small-group, socially-distanced practices on Monday. June 1.
Safer than Kmart
So, just to clarify…. for now, the pools in Montgomery County, where the Quince Orchard Swim and Tennis Club is located, are still closed. Also the QO swim and tennis club is used by at least 5 clubs, so it will be interesting to see how lane space is distributed, and how community pool members who do not swim club, will be allowed access. Fingers crossed that Montgomery County will open soon
While this is true, a lot of pools are refusing to open in Phase 1 in northern Virginia. As a coach, we are still struggling to find an outdoor facility that will accommodate us. 😔
Newsom in California still mum on swimming. Hasn’t even mentioned it. Local county health officer today said he won’t authorize lap swimming until the Gov does. All the rec teams have canceled their season (10,000+ swimmers) as we’re still on lockdown. USA Swimming affiliated clubs suffering terribly and pleading with the powers that be to open the pools.
Sadly, mental health is becoming a big issue; apparently the county made national news as the suicide rate is spiking and greater than the number of Covid related deaths.
And almost all of CA’s pools are outside. They should open for competitive swimming.
Don’t forget Michigan. Swimming is in deep trouble here!
Not sure what you want? Hasn’t your Governor been fairly outspoken about leaving the lockdown in place and yet you are advocating that she be the VP in 2020? Maybe that’s your way of getting her out of Michigan so you can get back to the pool?
I believe the MI Guv more likely to approve a boat launch request. 😂
That about says it all. She has no plan for our return to sport.
Because of governer “sooner than later” we in NJ are losing our season even though we meet guidelines for be next phase and pass cdc guidelines
And NY and NJ Teams will forever be closed – they are saying mid July opening – so unfair for these kids who will get screwed with recruiting. The risks are so low for them to catch this in a pool and all team can manage to socially distance yet they still will not allow these kids to get back into the pools.
Braden. What is your source for the 10 person limit on lap swimmers in Virginia? The 10-person limit applies to the number of participants in “group exercise and fitness classes” and all “recreational sporting events.” That is bullet point #2 for Fitness and Exercise Facilities. The rules for pools are covered by bullet point #8, which has no arbitrary cap on the number of participants and only says “pools may be open for lap swimming only, with one person per lane.” Golf courses are open in Virginia and I don’t believe they are subject to the 10 person rule…..
Source is Paris Jacobs.
I do believe that’s specifically referring to practices, which probably falls under “group exercise and fitness classes.” Let me clarify.