Ohio Swimmers Can Count Down to May 26 Opening of Pools

Photo Courtesy: Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com

Pools in Ohio can reopen May 26, the office of Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday.

DeWine’s press conference centered broadly on child care, from day cares to day camps, with youth sports as an offshoot of his “Responsible Restart Ohio” plan for the COVID-19 outbreak. As part of that plan, pools are eligible to open May 26.

The reopening applies to pools regulated by local health departments, both public pools and private clubs. The order does not include waterparks or amusement parks, which fall under the tourism working group.

Recommendations for reopening Ohio pools, DeWine cited, were fielded from various industry-specific working groups. Reopening is subject to jurisdiction of local health departments. Further guidance will be posted to Ohio’s reopening website by the end of the day.

Day cares and day camps, the larger classification of businesses discussed, are eligible to reopen May 31 under enhanced social-distancing and sanitization guidelines. Also eligible to begin reopening on May 26 are gyms and fitness centers, while facilities for non-contact and limited-contact sports (golf, softball, baseball, tennis, paddle sports) can reopen May 26.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines on risks of coronavirus transmission in treated water. But he stressed that additional measures will be put in place at Ohio pools surrounding the return to the water to ensure that the spread of the virus can be effectively halted.

“We know that athletic facilities, working out, provides both mental and physical benefits to people,” Husted said. “But we also know it’s very important that we keep these surfaces, these places, clean and that we follow the protocols so that we don’t create any unnecessary contact or spread through the reopening of these facilities.”

Swimming Through a Pandemic

The postponements and cancellations wrought by COVID-19 haven’t just affected the Olympics and the ranks of elite swimmers. They’ve trickled down to neighborhood clubs and summer youth leagues, affecting thousands of recreational and competitive swimmers alike. Here is some of our coverage of COVID-19’s effect on the American summer swimming calendar.

Resources for returning to the pool in the COVID-19 era


  1. Joanne Kozej-Kisow

    How about passing some of that good mojo over to western PA!

  2. Leslie Cichocki

    What about Illinois? Pass on some safe opening tips to Illinois.

  3. Ildiko Morris

    Omg! This picture makes me cry. I do the half goggle submerge all the time.?. Jersey has to open their pools asap. I’m dying to back to the pool.

  4. Jen Hintz

    Governor JB Pritzker c’mon Illinois!!

  5. Tim Ritchie

    Pools in Wisconsin can open as well May 26, but limited to specific numbers which means most of you wouldn’t have the pool as you think you would. Will be very restrictive as it should.

  6. Ryan Cox

    Should’ve opened now

  7. Carrie Hall

    IHSAA in Indiana screwed this up for us. My kids so desperately need to get back in the pool.

  8. Betty Kadlec Loeffler

    Tim, are you coming to Wisconsin to work the pool thing this summer?

    • Tim Ritchie

      Betty Kadlec Loeffler Maggie and I have decided to remain in Florida. I am fortunate to have a wonderful young man take over for this year?

    • Betty Kadlec Loeffler

      Tim Ritchie Guess I won’t see you any time soon but the upside is that I will see you in the future. Love your decision, continue to stay safe ?

    • Tim Ritchie

      Betty Kadlec Loeffler Possibly end of August or September- Time will tell.

    • Betty Kadlec Loeffler

      I hope to see you in the fall. I say again you and Maggie made the right decision.

  9. In AZ the governor is allowing pools to be open now but the pools are stilled closed due to trying to figure out how to open while doing the social distance thing.

  10. Todd Meyer

    Nice… our mayor wants to CLOSE the pool down bc it costs too much. Never mind everyone who swims when it’s 110- PALM SPRINGS CA

    • Laura Kulp Heebner

      Josh Heebner I hear Akron is lovely this time of year…

  11. Leslie Cichocki

    Governor JB Pritzker still waiting on Illinois to reopen pools for competitive swim practices and physical therapy with limited capacity and social distancing rules.

  12. Dana Schlitter

    Arizona pools can be open now. Seems most will be opening next week. Looking forward to getting back in the water!