Texas became the latest state to approve the widespread reopening of public pools, with local municipalities being told that they could begin to reopen at 25% capacity on Friday by Texas governor Greg Abbott.
According to an executive order, “local public swimming pools may so operate only if permitted by the local government.”
Many of the state’s biggest cities, however, are waiting before making that decision.
San Antonio and Austin, which are the 2nd-and-4th largest cities in Texas with a combined population of over 2.5 million, have said they’re not quite ready yet. Austin mayor Steve Adler says that the city will observe the situation for the next 3 or 4 weeks and decide what to do based on that information. He also extended the city’s stay-at-home order until May 30th, with county orders extended until June 15th.
San Antonio has been more vague, just saying they’ll remain closed for now, though city parks have reopened.
A judge in Harris County, where most of the city of Houston is located, has ordered all pools to remain closed until May 20th.
In the state’s 3rd-largest city, Dallas, the original schedule had pools reopening June 1, but the Dallas Aquatics Website warns visitors that those openings will be delayed. Aquatic centers in suburbs of Bedford and Hurst won’t open at all this summer.
Private pools, however, like those in hotels, subdivisions, and apartments, may begin opening at 25% capacity. Collin County, home to many of Dallas’ largest suburbs like Plano and Frisco, did reopen on Friday.
Also opening on Friday are hair salons. Gyms have to remain closed until May 18th and then can only open at 25% capacity.
Florida pools have been allowed to reopen as well, while the Kentucky Swimming LSC has has asked the state to reconsider pool closures.
Texas has reported 36,932 confirmed cases of coronavirus leading to 1,044 deaths. This week, as the number of deaths are growing in Dallas, the state as a whole has reported 31 deaths so far on Friday.