On the same day where the state of Texas announced that pools could reopen at 25% capacity, the state of Alaska also gave pools permission to open on Friday at 50% capacity.
Officials in both Anchorage and Juneau, the state’s two largest cities that make up almost half of the state’s population, has said that they’ll await more information and an explanation of the governor’s rationale before allowing public pools (along with libraries) to open in their cities.
One coach in Alaska tells SwimSwam that teams in Anchroage and local municipalities are working to put together procedures with the hopes of returning to the water next as soon as next week.
While Alaska doesn’t have as big of a competitive swimming population as Texas, the 2,157 year-round athlete members (2018) in the Alaska Swimming Local Swimming Committee does make it larger than 13 of USA Swimming’s 59 regional organizations. In 2018, the state had 25 registered year-round USA Swimming clubs.
Alaska, with a small and sparse population, has been among the least-impacted U.S. states by the coronavirus outbreak. The 378 confirmed cases is the fewest among all American states and the 10 deaths is the 2nd-fewest behind only Wyoming. Alaska is the largest state in the U.S. by area but the 3rd-smallest by population.
The announcement also allows gyms to reopen, with a 10-foot distance between people, along with bars, theaters, and other entertainment venues – with limited capacity. Restaurant dine-in services can also boost capacity from 25% to 50%.