Yesterday afternoon, the Governor issued Executive Order 05.12.20.02. Written in the intensely bureaucratic language we have come to expect, the Order is far from a model of clarity. By omission, the Governor has directed that public pools are allowed to reopen. Pools are not included or directly mentioned in the Executive Order but they are omitted from the list of types of businesses and activities that are expressly to remain closed.
All pools have to be inspected and authorized to open by County Health Departments. County Health Departments in turn rely on the State to provide regulatory and public health guidance on the scope of their authority. No one knows what those directions will provide or if, even with direction, County Health Departments will allow pools to reopen.
In addition to the confusion at other levels of government, city governments are left with their own challenges and concerns on how to implement the Executive Order. There are nearly 2 pages of restrictions that govern non-critical infrastructure. Again, by omission, pools are not included in the list of critical infrastructure and therefore have to comply with the requirements for non-critical infrastructure. It is difficult to determine how a pool could possibly comply with these lengthy restrictions and requirements. Additionally, splash pads are likely considered in the same vein as water parks and must remain closed.