West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced the next phase of the state’s plan to reopen businesses on Thursday, including swimming pools.
Pools, along with ‘indoor amusement,’ which includes bowling alleys, pool halls, movie theaters and roller rinks, can open beginning Saturday, May 30. Day spas, massage parlors, and limited video lottery retailers will be allowed to reopen too. The state’s original timeline set June 5 opening dates for many of the businesses included in the latest guidelines, so this is an earlier target.
West Virginia previously opened restaurants at 50% capacity beginning May 21 along with other retails, state parks, outdoor recreation rentals, and outdoor motorsport and powersport racing, albeit with no spectators. Gyms and health clubs also opened last week, though their pools remain closed, for now.
Justice did not announce specific regulations for pool reopenings, but is expected to between now and May 30.
The state set a reopening standard of maintaining a statewide cumulative percentage of positive test results below 3%. Cases in West Virginia have generally been on a downward trend, although a spike of positive tests in the Eastern Panhandle region of the state has prompted concern. The 53 positive tests in West Virginia on Wednesday was the most the state has seen in over a month.
Justice says he believes the spike in the Eastern Panhandle region is due to its proximity to the more densely-populated areas of Washington, D.C.; Virginia; and Maryland, which have seen higher infection rates. He ordered the state’s National Guard in and says he’s considering a mandatory mask order in the region to stop the spread.
With 622 year-round registered athlete members and 12 USA Swimming member clubs in 2018, West Virginia is the smallest of USA Swimming’s 59 administrative regions known as Local Swimming Committees.
In total, the state has seen 1,593 total positive tests for coronavirus infection and 70 deaths in a state of 1.8 million citizens.
UPDATED LIST OF POOL REOPENINGS
- Alabama – 50% capacity (May 11)
- Alaska – 50% capacity
- Arizona – 50% capacity (May 15)
- Arkansas – 50% capacity (May 22)
- California – No counties have been cleared for reopening pools by the state, though several teams have resumed practice anyway.
- Delaware – Community Pools at 20% capacity, no swim lessons or team practices (May 22)
- Florida – some localities have allowed pools to begin to reopen under a patchwork of restrictions
- Indiana – Adhering to Social Distancing Guidelines, excluding Lake, Cass, and Marion counties (May 22)
- Georgia – 10 or fewer people, or 6 feet of space per person (May 14)
- Kentucky – Pools designated for training or exercise can reopen, 1-per-lane (May 26)
- Louisiana– Lap Swimming can resume at 25% capacity
- Massachussetts – Outdoor pools Can Reopen in Phase 2 (as early as June 8), Indoor pools can reopen in Phase 3 (as early as late June)
- Mississippi – six feet apart
- North Carolina – 50% capacity (May 22)
- Ohio – CDC Guidelines (May 26)
- South Carolina – Smaller of 20%/5 people per 1000 square feet (May 18)
- Texas – 25% capacity
- Virginia – Outdoor lap Swimming only, 1-per-lane (May 15)
- West Virginia – No restrictions announced yet (May 30)
- Wyoming – 1 person per lane