De Blasio says NYC pools could still open this summer after all

After draining funding for city pools because of the coronavirus and the city’s massive budget crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday said the public facilities could open sometime this summer thanks to major progress against the pandemic.

“We can start a conversation around pools,” de Blasio said at his daily City Hall press briefing.

“I don’t know if we’ll get there, but at least we can at least begin that conversation now for the first time, based on what you saw today with those indicators,” de Blasio said, after announcing that just 1 percent of people who received coronavirus tests earlier this week got positive results — the lowest number since the deadly virus hit the city in March.

In April the mayor cut $12 million for pools from the Parks Department budget as part of his effort to balance the books while battling the COVID-19 crisis.

“We do not plan on having the pools open for the reason of health and safety,” de Blasio said on NY1 in April.

Astoria, Queens city pool summer
Joel Arista stays cool at the Astoria, Queens city pool in 2018.Matthew McDermott

Public beaches across the five boroughs are only open for sunbathing and wading. Swimming, barbecuing and sports are prohibited due to the pandemic.


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