All Public Pools In Metro Detroit To Remain Closed Indefinitely

WWJ News
May 28, 2020 - 5:02 pm

(WWJ) The problem, officials say, is you can't social distance very well while swimming. 

Four local health departments joined forces on Thursday to make an announcement that's sure to put a damper on summer fun for many in metro Detroit: All public pools are closed. 

The City of Detroit Health Department, Wayne County Public Health Division, Oakland County Health Division and Macomb County Health Department each issued Public Health Orders requiring all swimming pools licensed by each jurisdiction to remain "closed indefinitely."

The order includes not just city and park pools, but those at apartments, condominiums and hotels, as well as dive pools, wave pools and water slide pools. 

Officials say it's unlikely that anyone would catch COVID 19 from a pool, but swimming in and gathering around public pools makes it difficult to maintain proper social distancing, including staying six feet away from people outside of your household.

Macomb County spokesman John Cwikla tells WWJ Newsradio 950 that 377 pools in the county are affected. 

Along with keeping people safe, the effort, according to officials, is intended to help reduce the potential of a summer spike in new COVID-19 cases that could prevent schools from opening in the fall.

"With temperatures rising, swimming pools have potential to attract large groups," the health departments said, in a release. "As regional leaders, we are committed to doing the right thing, and closing pools is the right thing to do to protect the health and safety of residents and prevent the spread of the virus."

 Therapy pools used strictly for treatment in healthcare settings are excluded from this closure.

So is there any chance at all that any public pools could open in 2020? 

Macomb County Health Director Bill Redella said it's not completely out of the question.

"As things change, you know, there may be some openings," Redella told WWJ's Sandra McNeill. "So we will continue to monitor the trends in COVID-19 in our communities, and should...some types of reopening occur, our operators and the public will be notified."

Upon re-opening — whenever that might be — pool operators will be required to contact their local health department for an opening inspection to ensure the health and safety of residents, including a required water sample analysis.

This announcement comes as the backyard pool business is booming in metro Detroit. Pool store owners say they're having trouble keeping up with demand as residents want private pools installed or repaired.