Santa Clara Will Allow Pools to Open, Orange County Pushing for Reopening

Santa Clara, California, one of the country’s renowned cities in the history of aquatics, will see the reopening of pools and the resumption of swimming amid the coronavirus pandemic. Pools will be allowed to reopen on June 5, 2020 countywide as part of an easing of restrictions in the United State’s 18th most populous county.

See the full public health order here.

Santa Clara county announced that on June 5, some of the restrictions in place will begin to be lifted with the beginning of phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan. This will allow for the reopening of several industries including:

  • Restaurants for outdoor eating
  • Retail stores
  • Childcare centers
  • Pet grooming
  • Religious ceremonies if they are held outdoors
  • Outdoor recreational activities that require limited contact such as swimming, hiking, and golf

For a long time, Santa Clara has been a center for some of the best teams and facilities in the nation spanning across swimming, water polo, and diving. The Santa Clara Swim Club is home to several national age group record holders and has many notable alumni including: Donna de Varona, Pablo Morales, Don Schollander, Mark Spitz, Chris von Saltza, Lynn Burke, George Harrison, Steve Clark, and Paul Hait. Swimmers from the club have won a combined 71 Olympic medals, including 42 gold.

Additionally, Santa Clara hosted a stop of the TYR Pro Swim Series until 2018. In place of it, the Santa Clara Swim Club now hosts the Santa Clara International meet, which has attracted swimmers such as Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Ella Eastin, and Lia Neal.

Currently, much of California is still under a stay at home order and pools are closed across the state. However, in Orange County, officials are pushing for the reopening of pools and the resumption of youth sports. Like Santa Clara, Orange County is currently under phase 2, but there has been no date set for the beginning of phase 3.

Leading the push are Orange County Board of Supervisors members Don Wagner and Michelle Steel, the former of who created a petition on the subject and sent it to the Orange County Board’s office.

Speaking to the need to reopen pools, Wagner said, “[I would ask that] we proactively get in front of the governor and get in front of the state, and push to get the pools open. Because to me, this is just silly that we aren’t.”

In a statement after Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Wagner said he was pushing for the reopening of pools and sports fields of all kinda.

“My goal is to resume youth activities immediately,” Wagner said in the statement. “Moreover, I directed our County staff to submit the Health Care Agency’s pool guidance to Sacramento (the state government). Since pools are under California’s elusive phase three, I am working to expedite aquatic facility openings in Orange County.”

Local coaches tell SwimSwam that at least 4 teams in Orange County have resumed training in some fashion, including most publicly the Mission Viejo Nadadores.

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I believe it’s the entire county of Santa Clara, not just the city. Neighboring San Mateo County opened pools awhile back. Good for them. Across the Bay, our Health Officer remains afraid of his own shadow and continues the lockdown.


San Mateo pools are not open, no pools in bay area have been open up until Santa Clara


San Mateo Health Order, Appendix C-2. Pools originally opened a couple of weeks ago, revised on the 29th to include other activities as well.


In San Mateo, pools were allowed to open, but city-owned facilities chose not to open…at least not at first.


At least I can try to pair up with my dog for a (pet) grooming session since my barber remains closed in my NorCal county.

Corn Pop

Borrow a Chihuahah or a Mexican hairless dog & just sit in its place . Btw this is th e most ridiculous restrictions as most pet salons take your dog at the door anyhow. & the need t o be no contact .


As of May 29, Governor Newsom said the counties can decide when to enter phase 3, which includes gyms and pools. Not sure if I’m misreading this article, but I’m not clear who OC feels they have to push against. The County Board of Supervisors for all counties are the deciders about pools now, not the Governor.


That’s not the message I got from the L.A. County DPH just a few days ago. I was told the Governor has not yet approved counties moving into stage 3. I get the sense the agencies and policymakers are tossing the hot potato to someone else rather than taking initiative on behalf of their constituents. L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s staff told me she was “really busy” so she could not schedule a meeting to discuss pools. Of course she’s really busy, but our team also employs numerous people in her district and provides a public service for hundreds of kids.


That’s unfortunate for the LA County swimmers. One one hand I can see how LA County would be hesitant to move to Phase 3 because their number of positives and deaths is much higher than all other counties in California. However, County officials continuing to blame upper levels of government for lack of progress is simply a lack of local will or ability to move forward. I attached this link announcing the Governor’s orders, and links to this same announcement can easily be found on the internet… in case you want to remind the county about this change that happened last week. By comparison, OC is widely open and SD will probably be the most open of all California counties… Read more »


Thanks for the link. I found similar announcements on local news sites, but interestingly could not find a press release or other official announcement on the Governor’s site, which is surprising given the magnitude of the announcement.


Sorry, after doing more reading I see what you mean about the May 29 announcement, so perhaps the ball is now officially in the counties’ courts.


Clarity and consistency has not been a strong point during the lockdown, especially in CA.