Today, the state of Massachusetts announced its protocol for re-opening the state following the Coronavirus pandemic. The protocol, published by Governor Charlie Baker, breaks re-opening into four phases with specific steps to be taken between each phase. The plan also states that “If public health data trends are negative, specific industries, regions, and/or the entire Commonwealth may need to return to an earlier phase.”
The governor announced in his press conference earlier today that the state will move into its first phase beginning on May 25th. With this, beauty salons, construction sites, and offices may begin to re-open, though at a limited capacity. Additionally, all opening businesses must have an operational COVID-19 safety plan in writing, and be able to supply it if necessary.
Phase 2 of the plan can begin on June 8th at the earliest. Places opening in this phase include:
- Retail businesses
- Day spas
- Preventative health services like dentists
- Day camps
- Youth sports
- Public pools
All pools will be reopened using specific guidelines that have not yet been published. However, many pools in the area are indoors, and gyms aren’t set to be opened until phase 3 with the date still unknown. If phase 3 starts on time, that means gyms and many pools won’t be able to open until late June at the earliest.
This comes as both good and bad news to swimmers across the state eager to get to practice. If the weather is complaint teams could be returning to practice outdoors soon. If not, it may be hard to find a place to swim as gyms and colleges with large facilities across the state keep their doors closed.
Overall, Massachusetts has had approximately 86,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with just under 6,000 deaths. The state ranks fourth amongst states with the most cases in the country.
Yesterday, Louisiana announced the re-opening of pools for lap swimming at 25% capacity. Several teams, including Tiger Aquatics and COLA, have begun practices, and are utilizing social distancing measures.
UPDATED LIST OF POOL REOPENINGS
- Alabama – 50% capacity (May 11)
- Alaska – 50% capacity
- Arizona – 50% capacity (May 15)
- Arkansas – 50% capacity (May 22)
- Delaware – Community Pools at 20% capacity, no swim lessons or team practices (May 22)
- Florida – some localities have allowed pools to begin to reopen under a patchwork of restrictions
- Indiana – Adhering to Social Distancing Guidelines (May 24)
- Georgia – 10 or fewer people, or 6 feet of space per person (May 14)
- Kentucky – Pools designated for training or exercise can reopen (June 1)
- Louisiana– Lap Swimming can resume at 25% capacity
- Mississippi – six feet apart
- Ohio – CDC Guidelines (May 26)
- South Carolina – Smaller of 20%/5 people per 1000 square feet (May 18)
- Texas – 25% capacity
- Virginia – Outdoor lap Swimming only, 1-per-lane (May 15)
- Wyoming – 1 person per lane