Guidance for Montgomery County Public Pools

 

See Montgomery County Recreation pools

As part of Phase 2 and expanding in Phase 3, pools are permitted to open subject to usage limitations imposed by Executive Orders from the County Executive and Governor of Maryland. 

Phase 2 Guidelines

To schedule a pre-opening inspection, contact Licensure & Regulatory Services at 240-777-3986 or call 311.

  • All indoor and outdoor swimming pools may reopen once inspected and approved by the Department of Health and Human Services' Licensure & Regulatory Services program.
  • All hot tubs, spray or splash pads, wading pools and lazy river pools must remain closed until Phase 3.
  • Swimming pools may open after determining the maximum number of people who may be permitted in the pool fenced-enclosure (this includes pool deck and grounds). 
    • To determine this, divide the square footage surface area of the pool by 36. This ensures 6 feet of separation between pool patrons in the water.
  • Lap lanes may only be used by one patron in the water at a time.
  • If the pool is open for lap swimming only, the maximum number of people who may be permitted in the pool fenced enclosure at one time is limited to the number of lap lanes plus one additional person per lap lane until Phase 3.
  • Should pools decide to have both open water areas and lap lanes simultaneously, the maximum number allowed in the pool's fenced enclosure is limited to the open water surface area only until Phase 3. (This will allow for in-water fitness classes and lap swimming simultaneously while limiting the number of people in the pool).
  • Only pools designed and previously approved may have lap swimming.
  • Staff who interact with patrons or other staff must wear face coverings.
  • Patrons should wear face coverings when interacting with staff or other individuals not from their household.
  • Implement physical distancing requirements between patrons or household groups at the facility.  Change deck layout to ensure that individuals or household groups can remain at least 6 feet apart in the standing or seating areas. No gatherings or events.
  • Where any queue is expected to form at a diving area of swimming pool slide, designate with signage, tape or by other means to ensure at least 6 feet of spacing for patrons in line.  The layout may not impede the required four feet of unstructured deck surrounding the pool for emergency rescue, and ensure that all other patrons on the pool deck, grounds, and in the pool are at least 6 feet apart from the queue.

Prepare the Facility/Grounds

  • Outdoor swimming pools may open after determining the maximum number of people who may be in the pool perimeter while safely social distancing (dividing the surface area of the pool by 36). This ensures six feet of separation between pool patrons. The maximum number allowed in the pool perimeter shall be posted at the pool.
  • Facility will track pool capacity using a sign in/out sheet or another appropriate method.
  • Implement physical distancing requirements between patrons or household groups at the facility, change deck layout to ensure that in the standing or seating areas, individuals, or household groups can remain at least 6 feet apart. No gatherings or events.
  • Implement physical distancing where patrons form a line waiting for the pool to open or for someone to leave so they can enter.
  • Drinking fountains should be turned off or covered to prevent use.
  • For indoor pools, meet current standards for ventilation and dehumidification. Increase introduction and circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, or other methods. Do not open windows or doors if doing so poses a safety risk to staff or patrons.
  • Maintain supply of hand sanitizer and soap for hand washing and showers.
  • Ensure that all water systems (e.g., decorative fountains, heated pools) are safe to use after prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires' disease and other diseases associated with water.
  • Ensure there is adequate equipment for patrons and swimmers (e.g., kickboards and pool noodles) to minimize sharing to the extent possible or limiting the use of equipment to one group of users at a time and cleaning and disinfecting between use.
  • Lap lanes may only be used by one patron.

Prepare Employees

  • Staff who interact with patrons or other staff must wear face coverings.
  • Provide and use one-way valve masks for CPR.
  • Monitor staff absenteeism. Require staff to stay home if sick. Have a plan to ensure required staffing. If possible, vulnerable staff should be allowed to telework.

Prepare Patrons

  • Patrons should be alone or with members of their household.
  • Patrons should stay at least six feet apart (both in and out of the water) from other individuals not from their household.
  • At indoor pools, patrons should wear face coverings per the Executive Order, unless swimming or showering.
  • At outdoor pools, patrons should wear face coverings per the Executive Order when interacting with staff or other individuals not from their household.
  • Patrons should not wear face coverings in the water.
  • Patrons should be discouraged from sharing objects that are difficult to clean, sanitize, or disinfect or that are meant to come in contact with the face (for example, goggles, nose clips, and snorkels). Patrons should also be discouraged from sharing items such as food, equipment, toys, and supplies with individuals not from their household.

Signage/Communication

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as pool railings, deck furniture, water fountains, doorknobs, and entry gates twice per day, and more often if needed due to the number of patrons.
  • Clean and disinfect in accordance with CDC and EPA guidelines on COVID-19 and product instructions.
  • Maintain daily cleaning of the facility (floors, toilets, etc.) with soap and water.
  • Train staff on guidelines and product instructions for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Follow instructions for use and storage on the product label.
  • Disinfection products must be appropriate for the intended use.
  • The pool may need to temporarily close if the certified pool operator (CPO) on duty must clean and disinfect the pool area.
  • Facility will clean/brush pool tile/wall at the water line to reduce slime and biofilm once a week or more if needed.
  • Maintain daily cleaning log.

Operation

  • Maintain chlorine and pH levels per current regulation, including shock or super chlorination as needed.
  • Notify the local health department that the pool will open. Annual operation license is required per current regulation.

Resources