Outdoor swimming pools in the D.C. area traditionally open on Memorial Day weekend. But with COVID-19 restrictions, lounging by the pool this summer could look very different this year.
Many local government facilities had some closures or limited access due to stay-at-home orders and states of emergency, leading to the closures of recreation centers, parks, playground, swimming pools and others.
Here are the statuses of swimming pools, water parks and splash parks in the area.
Under ReOpen DC guidelines, communal pools may only start to reopen with limited capacity and safeguards when there is sporadic transmission. This stage allows for a gathering of up to 250 people.
The earliest D.C. could start a phased reopening of services is May 29, and that is only if data continues to show improvements.
County health officials said that public and private community pools will not open by Memorial Day.
When the facilities do reopen, swimmers and other users can expect changes with regard to physical distancing, use of face coverings and other hygiene practices.
Prince George’s County
Pools and permitted fields are closed until further notice.
According to Phase One of the state’s reopening plan, hot tubs, spas, splash pads, spray pools, interactive play features, outdoor basketball courts racquetball courts, and all seating in pool areas must be closed.
Outdoor swimming pools may be open for lap swimming only, with one person per lane. Indoor swimming pools and related areas must remain closed.
Although Virginia is currently in Phase One, Gov. Ralph Northam said that local officials may determine when it is safe to start loosening restrictions. Several jurisdictions in Northern Virginia have announced that they will delay Phase One.
The Northern Virginia counties staying in “Phase Zero” are: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park; and the towns of Dumfries, Herndon, Leesburg and Vienna.
The county has three public indoor pools that are managed by Arlington Public Schools. Schools are closed through the end of the academic year, and only authorized staff who are required to work will be allowed into the buildings.
The county’s Park Authority announced that two of its water attractions — Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole in Reston and Our Special Harbor Spray Ground in Alexandria — will not open this summer. The Martin Luther King Jr. outdoor pool in the Alexandria section of the county is also closed.
Prince William County
County-owned outdoor pools and water parks will not open during the 2020 summer season.
Spokesman Brent Heavner cites the inability to train and prepare seasonal staff in time due to ongoing social distancing as a barrier to opening.
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