New Jersey Given Green Light to Open Indoor Pools – With Restrictions

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New Jersey Given Green Light to Open Indoor Pools – With Restrictions

In the midst of rising COVID-19 numbers in many states, New Jersey swimmers received good news on Thursday when Gov. Phil Murphy announced that indoor pools were allowed to open. This decision followed a June 22 opening date for outdoor pools. As part of the decision, indoor pools must operate at 25% capacity and social-distancing guidelines must be followed.

The decision is New Jersey comes at a time when many states are struggling with soaring numbers of COVID-19 cases, with numbers ballooning so high in some states that murmurs have started about the possibility of various openings being rolled back. Already, Arizona has taken steps to walk back some of its earlier reopening decisions, such as declaring that pool-crowd gatherings be limited to 10 people.

As part of New Jersey’s decision to allow the use of indoor pools, the state identified several specific guidelines, including lap swimming being restricted to one direction per lane. Additionally, only one swimmer can use a lane at a time. It is also recommended that indoor locker rooms remain closed or be monitored for social distancing. Individuals on the deck must wear face coverings and as much outdoor ventilation as possible is suggested.

One of the opportunities afforded by the New Jersey decision is to resume swim lessons. Swim lessons greatly enhances water safety, especially among young children, where drowning is a major concern.

“By opening indoor pools, New Jersey has made a step forward toward improving the safety of children and adults because in those pools professionals teach people to swim,” Chuck Warner, of the New Jersey Swim Safety Alliance, told NJ.com. “While we struggle to find the remedy for COVID-19, we know the answer to resolving the greatest cause of accidental death in children: Learn to swim.”

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