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June 08, 2020

Public and private swimming pools in New Jersey can reopen on June 22

The state will issue health and safety guidance for such places on Tuesday

Pools Coronavirus
New Jersey swimming pools Thomas Park/via Unsplash

The CDC has said that there is no evidence that coronavirus can spread through a chemically-treated swimming pool.

Municipal and private-club swimming pools can resume operations across New Jersey on June 22, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday. 

Pools can also reopen at summer camps when they resume business on July 6. The state Department of Health will issue safety guidelines on Tuesday for the procedures and protocols that must be followed by pools to reopen, Murphy said.

Murphy had indicated on Friday that an announcement over the reopening of pools across the state would be coming on Monday.

"We know a lot of people have been waiting for their ability to get back in the water, we don't blame them," Murphy said. "A lot of communities have been wanting to restart swimming as part of their recreational offerings.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that there is no evidence that coronavirus can spread through a pool's chemically-treated waters. However, outdoor public pools in Philadelphia will remain closed for the summer.

The reopening of pools is the latest step taken by New Jersey to reopen the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The state will officially move into the second phase of its reopening plan on June 15, when outdoor dining and in-person nonessential retail will resume.

Hair salons and barber shops will reopen on June 22, and both gyms and health clubs will be permitted to reopen soon too. Other activities—such as indoor dining at a significantly-reduced capacity and museums and libraries—could also restart soon too. Those can resume if public health indicators continue to improve and the state’s COVID-19 testing and contact tracing programs further expand.

But Murphy has warned that the process will not be quick, and that restrictions could be reimplemented if new COVID-19 cases or hospitalizations due to the virus spike. 

In the meantime, New Jersey remains in the first stage of its three-phase reopening plan that the governor unveiled two weeks ago to gradually transition business and social activities to a "new normal." 

Restrictions on low-risk activities have been relaxed, with health and safety guidelines put in place. Those measures have included the reopening of parks and beaches, the resumption of nonessential construction and the ability for businesses to offer curbside pickup

Outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people are permitted. Daycare centers, youth day camps and organized non-contact outdoor sports are slated to resume in the coming weeks too.

During the peak of the coronavirus outbreak, only essential businesses were permitted to operate.

Stage 3 will allow for most activities and businesses to operate with significant safety measures still in place. It will permit critical in-office work and bars to reopen with limited capacities. Some entertainment options also will resume. 

Murphy has said that social distancing and sanitation guidelines will be crucial until a COVID-19 vaccine or proven therapeutic becomes widely available.

New Jersey reported an additional 356 coronavirus cases on Monday, increasing the state's total number of cases to 164,497. The state recorded an additional 40 deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll due to the virus up to 12,214.

South Jersey has had 20,244 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,214 deaths due to COVID-19.

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