Grab your goggles and swim cap, the city’s public and private indoor pools can now reopen at 33 percent capacity on Sept. 30, Mayor de Blasio announced Friday.
“As New York City continues its gradual reopening and economic recovery, we’re proud to announce we are ready to reopen indoor pools,” de Blasio said in a statement.
“Swimming pools are a community anchor, an exercise center, and an oasis in their neighborhoods — both literally and figuratively. New Yorkers have worked hard to fight back COVID-19. As transmission rates remain low, we’re proud to offer more ways to slowly return to business as usual,” he said.
City officials will continue standard Department of Health and Mental Hygiene inspections to ensure compliance with state regulations. The mayor urged New Yorkers who witness crowding or other unsafe conditions at indoor swimming pools to contact 311.
Ilse Korey, manager if Eastern Athletic Club in Brooklyn Heights, was overjoyed by the news.
“Wow!” she exclaimed. “It means a huge amount because a lot of our members aren’t coming in because the only thing they use in the club is the pool. It’s a very big deal. We can’t wait.”
Maggy Siegel, executive director of Asphalt Green, a nonprofit fitness organization with pools on the Upper East Side and Battery Park City, said she lobbied officials for the development.
“We are thrilled. This is long overdue. We want to thank the many people, we have friends in the state and city government that all went to bat for us,” she said in an interview.
“We know for a fact we can run a very safe pool,” she said, noting that her organization hosted a summer camp with 200 kids, none of whom got the virus.
“I would say the pool is the safest place on earth, you’re swimming in a sea of disinfectant,” she added.
Swimming facilities were shuttered at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Gov. Cuomo allowed some indoor pools to reopen statewide with restrictions in early June, but ultimately left the decision up to localities.
The city’s outdoor public pools started welcoming swimmers later than usual this year, starting in late July and gyms reopened on Sept. 2.
New York Post
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