Texas Pools Begin to Open, But Some Cities Holding Back

Pool
Diving into the pool - an activity that will be available in Texas starting today. Photo Courtesy: Thomas Campbell/Texas A&M Athletics

Texas governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order to allow public pools to open up, effective Friday, according to KSAT News in San Antonio. As part of the statewide order, indoor and outdoor swimming pools may open up at 25% occupancy. Beaches, lakes and rivers have also been allowed to open.

“Local public swimming pools may so operate only if permitted by the local government,” according to the order. Pools will remain closed in San Antonio for the time being, according to a spokesperson with the Parks and Recreation department in the city.

“At this time, some parks and recreation programming and services, such as operation of pools, have been suspended,” spokesperson Connie Swann said. “This is a developing situation and with guidance from the Health Transition Team, we are prepared to adjust our plans as the COVID-19 pandemic affects both our community’s health and the City’s financial capacity. City parks and trails remain open for use, so long as social distancing is practiced.”

The state of Texas sent out guidelines each public pool must follow if they choose to open their pools. People must maintain six feet of separation between parties, and must disinfect their hands after any interaction with people or items, among others.

The full guidelines can be read here.

The majority of the United States has been on lockdown since mid-March to slow down the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected the entire world. The city of Odessa, Texas announced a couple weeks ago that they were closing their public pools for the summer.

As the summer draws nearer, the debate continues: is it worth the risk to open public swimming pools? This move by the state of Texas has given hope to many out there that the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to get brighter, and that this is a step in the right direction to return to normalcy.

41 comments

  1. Ja Bounce

    Good starting point to get up and running.

  2. Andrea Michelle

    Oh wow! Great news- can’t wait to get back to lap swimming!!!

  3. Rick Stanfield

    Good for Governor. We know that in Texas per DHS, 95% of all fatalities are 50 and over. To date, per DHS investigation(clearly behind the current numbers), there have been zero deaths by anyone under 20. In a state of 29M, the highest daily fatality number was 50. The numbers are generally ok upper 20’s and low 30’s. This has been this way for weeks. Our positives will continue to be high due to much more testing than before. The average % of positives vs total testing is under 10% which is similar to many other states, excluding New England. I do hope the powers that be utilize all data to look at how teams may begin to return to practice.

  4. Joy Lim

    Adrian Damasco IV Did you your team resume training today??

  5. Emily Snyder

    Hope for other states to follow! Praying for Iowa pools to open up soon!

    • Jason Barnard

      Nope! The state is full! The big moose out front should’ve told you! LOL!!!

  6. Michelle Kennedy

    Come on, Georgia! Open up!!??‍♀️???‍♂️?

  7. Dick Beaver

    Well done Governor!!
    It’s nice to see some INTESTINAL FORTITUDE, and your intelligent analysis of what’s really happening, is mighty refreshing.

  8. avatar
    Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

    Spencer – and everyone else – please keep politics out of this. We value the views of all sides of opinion on what is the safest way for swimmers to return to the water at a time of pandemic and also allow comments from those who appear to feel there are no safety issues in play, despite the overwhelming message from experts in several key fields, among them world-class researchers at American universities who have been studying coronaviruses for 20 years and more. You live in a nation that mourned the death of Fran Crippen coming up for a decade ago. Different circumstances but he died because not nearly enough attention was paid to athlete safety by those more wedded than ethics would demand to ‘live and let die’ and ‘race at your own risk’ type approaches to environments that can and should come with care, control and responsibility. That’s a matter of intelligence not politics. Thanks.

    • avatar

      Bravo Craig Lord. In Australia, pools are opening up for the first time since COVID-19 pandemic on Monday 18 May in the state of Western Australia with maximum number of 20 people at public swimming facilities. Other states in Australia will follow suit dependent on each states COVID-19 health report.

  9. Rossy V. Mata

    Natalia Verastegui, WHO WANTS TO GO TO TEXAS!!!!???

    • Chuck Herrmann

      Heather York DiFulvio it’s case by case. One of our locations is opening because it’s at a country club. Instituting some strict rules as to how many per lane, equipment use, etc. My location isn’t open yet because it’s a city pool

  10. Ryan Cox

    Good for Texas! Most logical state so it isn’t surprising.

  11. Ildiko Morris

    Good for them. I’m jealous ( here in New Jersey ?)

  12. Kimberly Joy

    All pools should go back to normal. This shutdown never should have happened.

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

      Yes it should – it saved vast numbers of lives and if lifted too soon and/or in the wrong way it will cost vast numbers of lives that need not be lost. There is a safe way to proceed – it requires thought and care and consideration of expert opinion, not the Calamity Jane approach you advocate.

    • Joe Milinovich

      Yeah I agree we should have let more people die!