Private swimming pools in Riverside County, California, just east of Los Angeles, can be reopened, but only one swimmer can be in the pool at a time, according to a revision of the county’s executive order.
Private pools are “permitted to operate for single occupancy only (one swimmer at a time), regardless of size or volume of pool,” the county public health department’s document on coronavirus restrictions now says.
Apartment complexes, country clubs, hotels, homeowners associations and motels are allowed to reopen their pools, but they must follow the one-swimmer-at-a-time rule, designed to encourage people to continue to follow social distancing rules and not congregate in the area, KESQ-TV reported.
“We’re asking people to still continue to social distance and allow one individual inside the pool at a time,” Chairman V. Manuel Perez said in a hearing.
Outdoor furniture placed around the pool area must either be stacked or put away.
Drinking fountains and showers are not allowed to be used, and rails, doorknobs and faucets “must be sanitized frequently,” according to the Riverside public health department.
The swimming pool restrictions were relaxed in order to help people who rely on swimming as exercise.
“I think it is good,” resident and former lifeguard Steven Erickson told KESQ. “I don’t know if we are quite there yet, but I think it is important to move that direction for people that are unable to exercise by running or some other means.”
Although the document states that a parent or guardian should remain with a minor who is swimming to ensure safety, residents have concerns about safety for others.
“It’s a little bit mortifying. That’s kind of rule No. 1 about swim safety: Never swim alone,” Erickson said.
According to Erickson, having someone in the area does not help because it only takes a second for an accident to happen.
“It’s not the typical what you see in the movies, people splashing and crying and screaming,” he said.
“It’s generally very quiet; someone goes under without making a noise.”
He added that the people the order is supposed to help could be in the most danger.
“We have a lot of people in this valley that may not be good swimmers, that are elderly, perhaps have health conditions, and they may not be able to get themselves out of trouble in water,” Erickson said.
As of Tuesday morning, there were 3,643 cases of COVID-19 in Riverside Country, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
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