Empty Pool
(Photo: Pixabay)

In an effort to avoid a summer spike of COVID-19, Southeast Michigan Public Health Agencies ordered all public pools to shut down. 

On May 28, Oakland County Health Division, the City of Detroit Health Department, Wayne County Public Health Division and Macomb County Health Department each issued Public Health Orders requiring all public swimming pools to close for the summer. 

This order is issued under the Michigan Public Health Code to avoid transmission of the coronavirus and diminish a potential summer spike of COVID-19 cases that could prevent schools from opening in the fall.  

“With temperatures rising, swimming pools have potential to attract large groups. 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,” the press release read. 

Pools that are affected by this order include those in apartments, condominiums and hotels. Dive pools, wave pools and water slide pools are also included, but therapy pools used strictly for treatment in healthcare settings are excluded from this closure. 

“Although pool water poses a low risk of transmitting COVID-19, it is difficult to maintain social distance in and around pools, as well as in the associated facilities- enclosures, deck areas and sanitary facilities,” read the press release. 

According to Bill Mullan, spokesman for the Oakland County Executive’s office, this order alone covers 940 indoor and outdoor pools throughout Oakland County. 

Several local communities, including Huntington Woods, had already announced plans to close their pools for the summer. The JCC has three pools on its campus, including an outdoor pool, but are waiting for more clarification on whether or not they can open. The JCC’s health club facilities remain closed.

“It is not clear to us when we will be able to reopen our membership at the JCC,” Brian Siegel, chief executive officer of the JCC said. “We are waiting for greater direction from the governor, so once we hear that then we will have to make a decision if reopening is safe for our members, including all pool operations.”

TreeRunner Adventure Park Opens 

Beginning May 29, the TreeRunner Adventure Park in West Bloomfield is open to the public for socially distancing climbing. The park has obstacle trails of various degrees of difficulty which include zip lines, barrels, cargo nets, and bridges. 

The adventure park, located behind the Jewish Community Center, is adhering to the local and federal guidelines by disinfecting the course daily, disinfecting climbing equipment between uses, requiring guests to wear gloves and a mask and stationing hand sanitizer throughout the park. 

Following socially distancing guidelines, the park is reducing capacity by limiting the number of climbers within the park, allowing only one person on each platform, marking 6-foot distancing in congregation areas, online booking and picnic tables outside. 

This story has been updated.