New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced on Thursday afternoon that indoor public and private pools in the state are now allowed to reopen, with restrictions.
The state allowed swimming to resume in outdoor community pools on June 22, but the state’s many indoor pools were left on the sidelines. Now, as much of the state flocks to the shore for the July 4th holiday, indoor pools will be allowed to reopen as well at 25% capacity.
According to a directive from state Health Commissioner Judith Perischilli, pools, hot tubs, spas, campgrounds, clubs, churches, daycare centers, health spas, parks, retirement communities, housing facilities, hotels, government agencies, youth camps, and other venues were able to resume on Thursday, all at 25% capacity.
Swimming lessons are allowed.
New Jersey has seen the 5th-most cases of coronavirus in the US among all states and the 2nd-most deaths with 15,218 confirmed as of posting time. Most of those deaths have been concentrated in the northern part of the state, adjacent to New York City, though the coming of the summer months has resulted in an increase in the Southeastern part of the state as vacationers flock to popular Jersey Shore beach towns.
Also on Friday, Murphy signed an executive order that raised the limit on outdoor gatherings from 250 to 500, effective Friday.
Restrictions on indoor swimming:
- Lap swimming is restricted to one swimmer per direction per lane
- Swimmers must maintain social distancing
- Facial coverings are required for people on deck, except for children under the age of 2
- Venues must improve ventilation and circulation as much as possible
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high touch areas is required
- Indoor locker rooms must remain closed or monitored for social distancing.
Murphy has also extended the state’s public health emergency for another 30 days.
The announcement comes in the same week as many parts of the country have begun rolling back reopening plans after seeing record highs of new cases. So far one state, Arizona, has clamped down on pool usage, though the state didn’t require facilities to close completely.