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NJ Health Department releases guidelines on public pools, recreational bathing facilities

NEW JERSEY – Health and safety standards for municipal pools and private swim clubs set to reopen June 22 were issued by the New Jersey Department of Health.

The guidelines include parameters for reduced capacity; social distancing in and out of the water; enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures; and other measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Pools facilities are defined as conventional pools, hot tubs, spas, wading pools, special purpose pools, pools operated by or serving campgrounds, clubs, churches, cities, common interest communities, counties as well as other types outlined in the guidelines.

Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 153 permitting these facilities to open as of June 22. Facilities are required to develop a COVID-19 Pool Operation Prevention Plan that complies with the guidelines and the Executive Order.

“Pools provide a welcome respite from heat as well as recreational opportunities,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “These standards will ensure that precautions are in place to protect the health of staff and pool-goers while enjoying the pool this summer.”

Under the guidelines, staff must be screened for fever and symptoms on entering. Facilities are urged to stagger access to entry and exit points to avoid congregation, and reduce capacity to 50% for the facility and grounds.

Social distancing of six feet is also required while in the water, as well as on the pool deck, with the exception of immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.

A sign-in sheet is to be maintained for all staff and patrons to facilitate potential contact tracing efforts.

Patrons can use their own water play equipment, such as goggles, snorkels, fins, kickboards, pool noodles and toys, but sharing is prohibited and such equipment cannot be rented for patrons’ use.

Staff and pool-goers are encouraged to wear a cloth face covering outside of the pool when social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained, with the exception of children under age 2 and lifeguards on active duty.

Sharing furniture and equipment such as lounge chairs, towels, umbrellas and other equipment provided to patrons is prohibited except among immediate family members, caretakers, household members or romantic partners. Cleaning and disinfecting are required after each use.

To view the guidelines, click here.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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