Shelby County health directive allowing fitness-focused swim as pools begin to open amid health crisis

Shelby County health directive allows fitness-focused swim as pools begin to open amid health crisis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Some popular summer activities are up in the air going into the unofficial start of summer break. And heading into the Memorial Day weekend, we’re in phase two of Memphis and Shelby County’s Back-to-Business plan.

That includes avoiding gatherings of more than 50 people.

So, while camps and swimming pools may eventually be available to kids this summer, fewer people will be able to take advantage of them.

The Shelby County Health Department said there is no evidence COVID-19 can spread in the water of swimming pools, but the socializing summer swimming brings is the bigger concern.

“Our concerns as it relates to pools is the gathering outside the pools,” Shelby County Health Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph said.

According to the Shelby County Health Department’s Health Directive No. 4, pools can open during phase two. The directive allows fitness-focused swimming and reduced recreational use. The facilities need to keep capacity at 25 percent and close every 45 minutes to clean.

This month the City of Memphis told WMC Action News 5 it’s still working on a plan to safely open its pools for the season.

“We will advance as the data dictates us to do so,” Dr. Randolph said.

Summer camps will be among the last things to reopen. The Shelby County Health Department said camps can’t open before phase three.

Like childcare, many working parents look to camps for their children during the summer. The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis plans to hold its summer camps at four of its locations when it’s able to, but because of regulations from the Centers for Disease Control they won’t be able to serve everyone.

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis calls it “a delicate balance” between wanting to provide more spots to kids and allowing staff to follow the necessary guidelines.

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis released the following statement Friday:

“Our summer camps are not going to be run like traditional summer camps. We will follow the programming we have set up at our essential worker and first responder child care with strict adherence to the CDC protocol that we have been following. We will open our camps June 1st at [Promise Academy Spring Hill, and Promise Academy Hollywood]. The other sites [ Sycamore View Club and Oakhaven Club] won’t open till June 8th.”

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