Cuomo: Localities will determine when public pools and playgrounds reopen

Amherst will open its pools July 6th
Posted at 2:04 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 13:10:37-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday during his daily COVID-19 briefing that it will be up to localities to determine when to reopen public pools and playgrounds.

Cuomo went on to say they must use health data and metrics as a guide for the decision.

The Town of Amherst announced its pools will open for lessons and recreational swimming on July 6th. Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa said that once the governor gave the green light they wanted to open as soon as possible.

According to the CDC, there's no evidence that COVID-19 spreads through water. Kulpa said they're working on the logistics on land.

"It's not so much about people in the water," Kulpa said. "It's more about people on the deck, and people nearby, trying to figure out what you do about locker rooms and showers."

He said another challenge is hiring and training lifeguards, but they're hoping to return ones from last year.

Amherst opened its playgrounds on Thursday. Kulpa said its up to parents to help kids social distance on the playground and practice good hand-washing after touching the many different surfaces.

"It's very hard to say we're going to clean every playground surface," Kulpa said.

The Village of Hamburg followed suit on Friday, announcing its playgrounds are now open as well but that safety precautions and guidelines from both the CDC and New York State still apply.

There's no date for an opening of pools and playgrounds in Buffalo.

Playgrounds in Erie County owned parks are still closed. A spokesperson for Erie County tells 7 Eyewitness News it will be working with the state and municipal partners in the coming days to develop reopening guidelines for the playgrounds.

The governor also urged New Yorkers to keep doing what they have been doing to control the spread of COVID-19 as reopening continues and states across the country see spikes in cases.