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LARM Loss Control Manager Recommends Not Opening Public Swimming Pools This Summer

LARM Loss Control Manager Recommends Not Opening Public Swimming Pools This Summer

Considering the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Directed Health Measures (DHMs) in place, many League Association of Risk Management (LARM) members have been asking for guidance on whether they should open their public swimming pools this summer. LARM is a risk management pool made up of 170 Nebraska public entities.

To prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, Dave Bos, Loss Control Manager for LARM, strongly suggests that communities keep their public swimming pools closed.

“Elected and appointed officials have tough decisions to make. This one is about a trade-off of our kids having a fun place to spend their summer afternoons or potentially saving lives in our communities. While swimming pools are a quality of life issue, they are unfortunately outweighed at this time by COVID-19, which is a quantity of life issue,” Bos said.

Some officials had expressed hope that social distancing would keep kids safe in pools.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through properly treated pool water. However, there is a definite concern the virus could be spread in the pool bathhouses, restrooms, on pool ladders, slides, and pool lounge chairs. There is always a contamination factor when you put several people in a relatively small area. It would be difficult to maintain social distancing in most swimming pools, especially with a group of children,” Bos said.

“We’d like to think that public swimming pools are a safe place for kids to spend time, but we’re dealing with a pandemic with a lot of unknowns. From the Governor’s office to city and village officials and citizens alike, Nebraskans have done a great job thus far in establishing and following DHMs to limit the spreading of COVID-19. The fact of the matter is, the virus is still making its way across Nebraska and putting lives in danger. For this reason, schools, businesses, and playgrounds have been closed and many social events have been canceled across the state. There currently is no vaccine for COVID-19 and not opening municipal swimming pools for the season is a way our communities can help stop the spread,” Bos said.

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