More Summer Pools Closing; Odessa, Texas Latest to Shutter For Summer

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

In light of New York City announcing that its public pools were going to be closed for the summer due to the Coronavirus and Lacrosse, Wisconsin revealing on Friday that it would shut down its three public pools, another closure was announced on Friday. Now, the Texas city of Odessa has announced it is closing public pools. This latest domino is sure to be followed by others, and the question needs to be asked: Will more pools be shuttered this summer than open?

Summer league swimming is one of the many activities that will suffer dramatically this year if the Coronavirus is not under control by June. Every summer, children flock to pools across the country and are introduced to the competitive scene for the first time. Many of these young swimmers catch the bug for the sport and soon find themselves in a more serious club program. More, summer clubs play a key role in building friendships and providing youngsters with a place to congregate that is safe and encourages fitness and fun.

How quickly other cities decide to close pools for lengthy periods of time will be decided on an individual basis, and will hinge on how early some states are allowed to open.

Health officials in Odessa, Texas cited concerns over large congregations of people at pools each day during the summer. Although scientists at the CDC believe COVID-19 does not survive in water that is found in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water playgrounds, doctors in the Odessa area believe it is not worth the risk.

“Social distancing would be nearly impossible to practice at a public pool,” said doctor Rohith Saravanan.

“I don’t think this is going to last the whole summer, I sure hope not, but it’s not a decision that you can make today for the rest of the summer,” said Saravanan.

135 comments

    • Pamela Goldsbro

      Tammy Lamaster … all good until it’s one of your family that gets sick!

    • Julie Tellier

      Pamela Goldsbro clearly Tammy understands the risks and is taking responsibility for her families health so stop

    • Pamela Goldsbro

      Julie Tellier … in a country where you sue people/ local government / schools/airlines and the list goes on , for every little wrong doing it is astounding that you all take this situation so light heartedly. I’m guessing that Tammy must be the only person in the world who has a vaccine?

    • Airy Zamora Morris

      Pamela Goldsbro you just nailed on the head. No organization wants to be liable for potential sickness and death. Yeah it sucks, but we can’t blame them.

    • Tammy Lamaster

      Pamela Goldsbro actually I have had a family member sick with it! Very ill

    • Tammy Lamaster

      I should have said in the months to come not just see what happens

    • Tammy Lamaster

      Julie Tellier you have no idea what I’m doin

    • Pamela Goldsbro

      Tammy Lamaster … sorry to hear that they were unwell and I hope that they are recovering nicely. Understand what you meant now. Thanks for clarifying. ?

    • Julie Tellier

      Tammy Lamaster I was agreeing with you

    • Claire Redshaw

      Barb Martin Binkley it does suck but the kids will be able to come back but it may take years to get back to where they were. However at least they are safe

    • Jennifer Marie

      Barb Martin Binkley sure does . if they close them here my sons are all affected.. Sucks for my oldest as it is his last year to swim on summer team and he is supposed to coach.. 🙁

    • Andrew Webber

      Barb Martin Binkley no it doesn’t, only if the coach rolls over and does nothing

  1. Patti Troyer Keller

    This is ridiculous!! People need exercise, fresh air, sunshine and they’re jumping into chlorine!!

    • Brooke Kenny

      Patti Troyer Keller It’s about people in close proximity, not about the water. I can’t believe I’m even having to type this right now.

  2. Joseph Roth

    I think pools and swim teams need to be open. If you are concerned, no one is forcing you to go to swim practice or a swim meet!

    • Claire Redshaw

      Joseph Roth uk swimming pools have been shut for 4 weeks now looks like it is going to be a lot longer

    • Julie Bryan

      Joseph Roth our pools in the UK have been shut for 5weeks now and no signs of them
      Opening ?

    • Andrew Webber

      It’s not about whether the pool is safe, or if the swimmer is directly at risk, it’s only about not spreading the virus. Will taking kids to the pool spread the virus around? Of course it will. Hey kids, want to go swimming this morning? Then this afternoon we can go kill grandma, and we don’t even have to go to the funeral. That how you want it?

  3. Karen Koelling Gleason

    Swimming pools under the suns UV rays, which they are finding kills the virus, should be one of the safest places

    • Claire Redshaw

      Karen Koelling Gleason unfortunately the medical profession are not sure and the 2 metre rule between people in Europe is difficult or impossible to enforce in a pool

    • Andrew Webber

      Karen Koelling Gleason incorrect, they suspect the virus won’t remain viable outside for long, nobody knows for sure

  4. Ja Bounce

    CONCLUSION:
    Chlorine disinfection seems to be the best available technology for coliform and bacteria inactivation. And it is of fairly low toxicological hazard due to the transformation of monochloramine. (From 2006 study from National Center for Biotechnologhy Information (direct link – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16944772)…

  5. Paul Anthony

    And studies show kids don’t really get Covid-19

    • Les Hopkins

      Paul Anthony why are kids dying then?

    • Paul Anthony

      Les Hopkins You are citing outliers as if they are the norm. Stats show a relatively low risk/ fatality rate for kids. Kids drown in pools yet we don’t shut them down for that reason.

    • Paul Anthony

      Katherine Hillock Mowid See above

    • Les Hopkins

      Paul Anthony Everything has been shut down in Australia and we have had 70 deaths. Why take the risk?

    • Les Hopkins

      Katherine Hillock Mowid That’s one too many

    • Paul Anthony

      Les Hopkins Let’s stop driving too to prevent traffic accidents

    • Les Hopkins

      Paul Anthony Vote 1 for Trump

    • Claire Redshaw

      Paul Anthony disagree in the uk we have had a number of kids die

    • Peter Scott

      Paul Anthony but kids can carry the virus to many, many more vulnerable people including parents and grandparents. Without a vaccine and regular testing taking the attitude that kids are immune is a potential to sread the virus totally out of control. ?stay safe?

    • Paul Anthony

      Peter Scott Yes, that is the logic behind the shut down. I personally don’t agree. Other precautions can be taken with at risk people. Also, data shows intra-familial transfer rate is low.

  6. Ildiko Morris

    Safest place to be probably. With All the chemicals in the water ….

    • Susan Humphries

      Ildiko Morris agreed problem is when you get out changing rooms, congregating in foyers, galas, or stopping at the end of lanes

    • Ildiko Morris

      Susan Humphries wear a mask there.

    • Susan Humphries

      Ildiko Morris maybe uk government will recommend doing so when reopening leisure facilities, but going on what i have seen before the shutdown kids treat it like a joke, hopefully having been made to stay home so long might be the wake up call they needed.

    • Andrew Webber

      Ildiko Morris that’s just ridiculous

    • Jenny McCauley

      Lisa D’Agostino Killeen it’s an article about more summer pools closing for the summer.

    • Lisa D

      Jenny McCauley read it. Makes sense but still have hope.hope all is well in your end

    • Jenny McCauley

      We are fine. Just want to get back to swim!!!! Like yesterday..

  7. Les Hopkins

    They all need to be closed under the current circumstances.

  8. Kristen Henderson

    Let’s think about the lifeguards, ya know the ones who will cleaning the bathrooms and any other surfaces patrons might touch. Most lifeguard are 15-18 years old, would you want your kid out working? MOST pool operators have goals that are typically safety first. I’m not saying closing is the best option, but there is more to consider besides “well its outside so it’s fine”

    • Jeannine Juskalian

      Kristen Henderson yes I do because my son needs to work in order to pay for the following years car insurance. Really cancel summer 2 months ahead. Kids are resilient and my son is a lifeguard and doesn’t clean bathrooms

    • Rachael Pounds Pabon

      First life guards don’t clean bathrooms and second this is a VIRUS. Yes, I want my kid exposed to it. Learn about herd immunity and the immune system. This isn’t going away so you better learn to deal with it just like you do every other virus on the planet. No, stay locked up forever. ??

    • Kristen Henderson

      Just a reminder I said “not saying closing is the best option” just pointing out there is more behind the decision to close. It should be done on a case by case. All pools are different, including who cleans the bathrooms. Outdoor private clubs often only have lifeguards for employees so they end up doing everything.

    • Patricia Frank

      Kristen Henderson, I agree with you there is a lot to think about, but I hope outdoor pools can be kept open for at least some. Because the pools are closed, my 18 yo lifeguard has jobs doing childcare for emergency workers and working in an assisted living home. I am hoping they can find a way to sanitize areas at pools.

    • Amy Lynn

      Rachael Pounds Pabon I cleaned many bathrooms as a lifeguard. Depends on where you work. I am not stating an opinion on whether it is safe or not, just that some lifeguards have additional duties.

    • Bob McAdams

      Actually, there’s another issue involving lifeguards: We’re at the precise time of year when many people are typically getting or renewing their lifeguard certifications. But they can’t do this at the moment because pools are closed. Will there be enough certified lifeguards available for all of the pools to open for the summer?

    • Alexis Murray

      Bob McAdams I believe that the American Red Cross is offering a blanket three month extension for just this reason…

    • Julie Grigar

      Kristen Henderson here’s thought, close the bathrooms….have port a cans with hand washing stations for people to use….limit the number allowed in pool area…I don’t want my swimmer to contract this either…but that has to be a work around….they are opening beaches, so why not pools too. ?

    • Kim Ryder Cook

      Kristen Henderson I was furloughed. My state opened up and within 3 days, I was really furloughed. I work for a company that absolutely has the best cleaning protocol before this and yes lifeguards and instructors clean like fiends. As I mentioned, we cannot practice social distancing while teaching lessons and our guards cannot possibly be protected from this that spit in the gutters and blow their noses in the pool. As a leader, my team comes first. This is not as easy as folks think at all.

    • Tim Ritchie

      Kristen Henderson
      I have managed pools for 33 years. I am hopeful my pool will not open or I may need to make a choice on working or not.

    • Travis Bradburn

      Kristen Henderson yes, I would want my kids out working. Statistically, this virus has ZERO cases under 18.

    • Bob McAdams

      Alexis Murray I’m not sure how much the 3-month extension will actually do to fix the problem. Every year, there’s a percentage of lifeguards who got their certification the previous year and whose certification is therefore good through the following year, but I’d guess that the percentage of lifeguards for whom this is true is significantly less than 50%. But people who have never had a lifeguard certification aren’t going to be ready when pools first open, and the 3-month extension isn’t going to be enough for people who were certified before early to mid June of 2019 to finish out the summer season.

    • Andrew Webber

      Rachael Pounds Pabon you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried

    • Andrew Webber

      Travis Bradburn mate we’re really trying not to spread falsehoods at the moment. Go and check that statement, preferably somewhere that will tell you the truth

  9. Lori C Taylor

    I have 2 college scholarships for 2 different kids on the line.

    • Brooke Lee

      Lori C Taylor I think a lot our in the same boat ?

    • Lori C Taylor

      I have 3 kids. They have been swimming since ages 9, 9, and 7. Now 20, 19, 17

      All 3 are state swimming champions. All 3 high school swim team captains.
      2 had Omaha Cup times. They
      Need a pool. 2 have college scholarships

    • Reilly Ploplis

      Lori C Taylor I’m swimming in college and I need a pool too, but this virus can put you out of swimming for the rest of your life.. I rather stay healthy and keep the remainder of my career rather than get it and have damaged lungs and not be able to have the same lung capacity I once had therefore not being able to swim.

    • Kathy Brown

      Lori C Taylor same – mine soon to be college freshman is taking a gap year if his school doesn’t open –

  10. Kylie Hoyer

    Australian pools and swim teachers etc all shut first here. 🙁

    • Julie Lee

      Kylie Hoyer won’t be for much longer albeit with fewer lanes available

  11. Carolyn Mcclow-Joniak

    us adults want to swim too. I was swimming 3 to 4 miles a day in the summer

    • Bob McAdams

      There are many adults who are swimming to maintain their health, so if you prevent them from doing that, they’re going to be less healthy. And it is the people with uncontrolled preexisting health problems who have been having the worst outcomes if they get the coronavirus.

  12. Jeff Sutton

    We need to change the conversation to highlight the pools and aquatic facilities that are staying open. Please forward looking !!

    • Amy Lynn

      Jeff Sutton Are we going to have a dedicated article for every pool in the world that closes? How depressing. Let’s post a weekly list or something of who is open and who is closed.

  13. avatar
    Anonymous

    This is so disturbing for our next generation of young swimmers who are motivated to pick up swimming as their sport

  14. Ryan Connell

    Isn’t Texas supposed to be about freedom?

  15. Angie Reese Mudd

    Why do they have to make this decision so soon?? It’s still April

    • Les Hopkins

      Angie Reese Mudd so soon. Have you seen the American death toll compared to countries that acted early!

    • Bob McAdams

      Yes. The mortality rates have been much lower in the U.S.!

    • Les Hopkins

      Bob McAdams Your leading the World in deaths. GOOSE!

    • Rebecca Pelton Smith

      Les Hopkins you’re an idiot. Our population is bigger so of course the raw # of deaths is larger! You have to look at per capita death rates for comparisons between countries. But you actually have to have a working brain cell to comprehend things like that.

    • Bob McAdams

      In the U.S. 0.294% of the population has been diagnosed with the virus. 5.65% of those have died.

      In Spain, 0.478% of the population has been diagnosed with the virus. 10.24% of those have died.

      In Italy, 0.323% of the population has been diagnosed with the virus. 13.51% of those have died.

      In France, 0.241% of the population has been diagnosed with the virus. 14.00% of those have died.

      In Germany, 0.189% of the population has been diagnosed with the virus. 3.755% of those have died.

      In the U.K., 0.223% of the population has been diagnosed with the virus. 13.69% of those have died.

      So your odds of being infected with the virus are significantly lower in the U.S. than in Spain or Italy. And while your odds of being infected with the virus are lower in France and the U.K., because of their much higher mortality rates, you are more likely to die from the virus in those countries. Of the 6 countries listed, the only one in which you are less likely to die from the virus than in the U.S. is Germany.

      • avatar
        Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

        Bob, I can well understand that in such threads, the urge to answer with facts, stats and robustness is strong, all round. My view is that we should not turn any of this into a race or competition (I’m not suggesting you are but many may read it like that).
        That said, I think your stats skirt an important point, relevant all round: “Less” or “More likely” are terms best reserved for things that are constant. The spread of COVID-19 is still happening and each of the nations you list is at a slightly different place on their own curve, for a variety of reasons. Look too at the numbers of ‘recovered’ and ‘active cases’… in the U.S. this day ‘active case’ numbers are very high, in the region just below 800,000 – that’s a lot of outcomes yet to be decided at a time when the ‘case’ number is still on a steep upward curve. Social-distancing measures and careful handling of the easing of lockdown measures – however painful and however much we’d all like to get back to club swimming etc etc – will be critical to the final outcome when the curves are done, the mortality counts are more genuine (some nations not counting deaths in care homes, for example, because it takes longer to get the numbers through and ’cause of death’ clarified) and genuine, meaningful comparison might be made. And when such comparisons are made, I believe it pointless for anyone (this comment not a criticism of you but a general point for all to consider) to turn that into a competition of nations. The death toll will be “human”. Point. The eventual numbers are much more relevant to the inquiries and lessons to be learned for each nation in turn come the time of assessment of what went right and what went wrong, matters for each nation to decide but also important for the international agencies and their future roles and planning, including what powers and where power lies when it comes to the responsibilities of those at the source of an outbreak that has the potential to do what’s now been done and is far from over on many levels, not just ‘who got it and who and how many died’.

  16. Émilie Lepage

    Ann Béatrice Pelletier pour la rare fois où j’ai la motivation de m’entraîner

  17. Colleen Tessler

    Pools should be closed without a doubt. We are dealing w a pandemic that will not be gone by summer. Just face the facts and deal with it.

    • Jessica Moses Carver

      Colleen Tessler I have a daughter that has worked her butt off in just a little over 2 years of swimming and is one of the best in her age group across the country in distance. This is their life. Living at home without the things that they love and work so hard for is mentally damaging! Mental health is just as important as physical health. So why don’t you take your opinion and deal with it somewhere else. There is no need for your nasty attitude.

    • Ryan Connell

      Colleen Tessler pretty much everywhere in the country has hit the peak of the curve…

    • Charity Cage

      Jessica Moses Carver ?!! My daughter is miserable without swim!!! Mental health is more of a concern for my family!

    • Colleen Tessler

      I am a swimmer too. Swam my whole life, high school, college and beyond. I understand how important this is. I fully support swimming as its the best sport ever, in my opinion. However, you cant ignore the fact the entire world is going thru a pandemic. Having your daughter alive is more important than risking she catches this virus and dies. I do not have a nasty attitude. Im just stating the facts. Sadly, we all have to make sacrafices that are heart wrenching. Stay safe

    • Jessica Moses Carver

      Colleen Tessler you don’t know how important it is because you didn’t have to deal with a pandemic. I’m sure that you were able to train the whole time…barring any injuries. But with injuries there is a return date. As a swimmer you should be sympathetic to how some of these kids are feeling if you couldn’t swim, and had no idea when you would be able to return.

    • Colleen Tessler

      Jessica Moses Carver I was out of the water my entire junior year of HS because of 2 consecutive sprained ankles so I’ve missed pool times at a very crucial time before college. True, never dealt with a pandemic. I feel for all athletes that cannot train for their sports, especially Team USA and the athletes that would have competed in the Olympics. However, I think it’s more important to keep children, adults and people of all ages safe and alive than running the risk of catching and spreading the coronavirus. My original comment was factual, has nothing to do with feelings or if I am sympathetic or not. The sooner people can accept what is going on, the sooner they can come up with different plans to stay fit. For ex, come up with dry land exercise training on your own, etc. You can’t change the current situation. Best to deal with it responsibly head on.

    • Evan Townsend

      14 years competative swimming experience, former NCAA DI swimmer, and head coach of a swim team here…. Keep the pools closed. Hastily going back to the way things were will lead to millions of deaths. I don’t like that I can’t work. My athletes don’t like that they cannot train. We need to do our part in stopping the spread of this virus. People are dying. As a team leader, safety is always my #1 concern. Covid-19 is currently the leading cause of death in the states right now. Not heart disease. Not cancer. Not anything else. This virus is. I don’t believe in media scare tactics, but that should scare you.

    • Colleen Tessler

      You are wrong. Children and infants have died. Even a 7 month old.

    • Evan Townsend

      Travis Bradburn you work in healthcare, cited the CDC, and STILL managed to get your facts messed up? Listen to your employer. They put out good shit.

  18. Jason Cronk

    Horrible decisions being made

    • Claire Redshaw

      Jason Cronk I agree ☝️ but people are trying to save lives.

  19. Madi Decker

    Chlorine and UV rays kill the virus – why close summer pools?

    • Peter Scott

      Madi Decker because you catch the virus through airbourne transfer. Someone breaths out with the virus and someone breaths in can catch it. Kids in close proximity in a pool is asking for trouble.?stay safe?

  20. Susan Humphries

    All pools in UK closed. I coach at a club we tried social distancing did not work , kids just ignored it out of the pool, they would probably be fine if they caught it problem is they take it home to parents and grandparents. Thats where it all goes wrong.

  21. Stephanie Wiley

    My son desperately wants to be back in the pool practicing.

  22. Julie Grigar

    Ummm they are opening beaches but closing pools ? Pools are far more cleaner than beaches….CHLORINE!!!! Limit the number of swimmers per practice session…close changing rooms and restrooms. You can have port a cans with hand washing stations at the pools for swimmers to use. My daughter’s club team is the ONLY place she is able to train for HS…she in only one on her HS team and our school has no pool….no pool access pretty much cancels her HS swim season ??…BTW she is going to be a senior in HS and wants to swim in college. If there is no swim season I guess she can kiss that dream goodbye! ??? I bet NO ONE would ever consider canceling other sports like…Football…God forbid we cancel football season. ? Please for the love of all things swimming OPEN the pools! Gives these athletes back their pools!!!!

  23. Cara Jones

    This makes NO SENSE.
    And yes, 3 of my sons are lifeguards and the kids are in a pool that has chlorine. If your scared – stay home. Don’t impose your fears on others. The cure is worth than the disease. Read and learn. Death rate is .0007 per million. They are more at risk driving down PCH tomtge pool.

  24. Cara Jones

    My comment was deleted.

  25. Jenise Anderson-Harms

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbclosangeles.com/news/coronavirus/heat-wave-prompts-relaxing-of-coronavirus-pool-usage-restrictions-in-riverside-county/2352045/%3famp

    Just reading this article about Riveeside Counry CA- although these are not.competitve pools it’s encouraging to see some areas finding creative ways to keep pools open. staying hopeful that safe rules and processes Can be implemented to protect the public, swimmmers,pool staff and their extended families alike.

    • Travis Bradburn

      Pools are SAFE! We need to advocate for ourselves here so that swim teams can operate. Our kids are literally swimming in sanitizer!