NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — As restrictions ease up across the country and the weather heats up, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidelines for reopening pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds.
The recommendations apply to local governments, apartment complexes, gyms and other membership clubs, schools, waterpark and homeowners' assocations.
The guidelines suggest facilities enourage healthy hygiene, including hand washing and wearing face coverings, advising staff and patrons to stay home when exhibiting symptoms, testing positive for COVID-19 or being exposed to someone with the virus, providing soap and hand sanitizer, and posting signs and broadcasting messages promoting these protective measures.
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The CDC says face coverings are most essential when social distancing is difficult, but say they should not be worn in the water because they can be difficult to breathe through when wet.
Other guidelines including cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as hand rails, lounge chairs and slides at least daily, labeling used equipment that has yet to be cleaned, protecting disinfected equipment from contamination, ensuring proper ventinlation indoors, changing deck layouts to promote social distancing, staggering use of communal spaces such as break rooms and rotating shifts, and discouraging people from sharing hard-to-clean items such as goggles and nose clips.
The guidelines also say lifeguards should be focused on the pool and not responsible for monitoring handwashing, social distancing, or mask use.
The CDC also says facilities should have a plan in place for when someone gets sick.
"All decisions about implementing these considerations should be made locally, in collaboration with local health officials," the CDC said. "Operators of public aquatic venues can consult with local officials to determine if and how to implement these considerations while adjusting them to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local jurisdiction. Their implementation should also be informed by what is feasible, practical, and acceptable."
CLICK HERE to see the full list of guidelines.
While beaches are opening in New Jersey and New York, pools will remain closed.