Montana and Kansas are the latest to join a parade of American states that have either already allowed pools to re-open, or will allow them to re-open shortly. The three states combined have around 2,000 year-round USA Swimming athlete members.
In Montana, Governor Steve Bullock released an opening plan that would allow pools, gyms, fitness studios, movie theaters, and non-tactile museums to open at half of their normal operating capacity beginning on May 15th.
Specifically, the order allows pools at gyms or pools at a licensed public accommodation (like hotels and motels) can open, but other pools cannot. That means pools like the 50-meter Bozeman Swim Center in the state’s 2nd-largest city must remain closed. This means that while the ‘mermaid tank’ at a Great Falls tiki bar is allowed to open, many swim teams will still be locked out.
Montana has had just 462 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 16 deaths caused by COVID-19. Only Alaska has had fewer cases than Montana.
While many large cities in Kansas, like Wichita, are discussing closing their pools for the season to try and cut down on multi-million dollar budget deficit, the state has put out a four-phase reopening plan that includes pools in phase 2. Kansas hasn’t set a firm timeline for their phases, but pools will be allowed to open no earlier than June 1st. The state will plan its reopening based on whether the state is hitting certain metrics.
Kansas has 7,542 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 188 COVID-19-caused deaths.
Preceding their neighbors in Alabama, Mississippi allowed outdoor pools to reopen beginning on May 7th as part of its phase 2 plan. In general, gatherings are limited to a maximum of 20 people for outside activities, with curfew hours on outdoor recreation set at 9AM to 7PM. No plan has been announced for indoor pools.
Individuals must remain 6 feet apart.
- Alabama – 50% capacity (May 11)
- Alaska – 50% capacity
- Arizona – 50% capacity (May 15)
- Arkansas – 50% capacity (May 22)
- Florida – some localities have allowed pools to begin to reopen under a patchwork of restrictions
- Georgia – 10 or fewer people, or 6 feet of space per person (May 14)
- Ohio – CDC Guidelines (May 26)
- South Carolina – Smaller of 20%/5 people per 1000 square feet (May 18)
- Texas – 25% capacity
- Wyoming – 1 person per lane