The state New York is now allowing pools to reopen following the coronavirus pandemic. This comes as the entire state is now under phase 1 of the reopening plan.
Under executive order 202.60, issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, “Outdoor, low-risk recreational activities are permitted so long as social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting measures are in place”. Included under this grouping are:
- non-motorized boat use and rentals, such as row boats, kayaks, canoes
- golf and driving ranges
- racket games, such as badminton, pickleball, racquetball;
- toss/bowl games, such horseshoes, bocce, bean bag toss, croquet;
- flying disc games, such as disc golf and frisbee
- rope courses
- batting cages
- shooting ranges
- swim classes and swim instruction.
With this, swim teams in the area should be able to get back into the water. However, this is not the case as reported by Westchester County SwimLabs owner Diane Weinstein.
Despite repeated efforts to open up her pools to safe outdoor use, the Westchester County Board of Health has denied her the permits required to open her facilities, instead directing her to the Empire State DEV Group, which oversees the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the New York Job Development Authority (JDA). Looking for help there, the Empire group instead referred her to Governor Cuomo’s office, which redirects her back to her board of health.
The situation has become difficult for Weinstein and others around the state that are having similar issues.
Governor Cuomo’s office has not published any guidance directed specifically towards pool reopenings, but his top aide Melissa DeRosa, told reporters, “We anticipate putting out guidance for the municipalities in coming days.”
At its peak, New York was the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. According to Johns Hopkins, the state has had approximately 380,000 cases with 24,400 deaths. Over 200,000 of those cases come from New York City.
The number of confirmed cases in New York is over double the number of cases in the state with the next highest number: New Jersey, which only has about 165,000 confirmed cases.