Pools Opening Throughout Southern California Beginning June 12

Great News! Pools are opening all over Southern California. Big picture, you need to comply with State and County Guidelines.  The State, for the most part, is deferring to the counties, which may presumably modify their Orders based upon the infection rates in their communities. Here are the specifics:

State Allows Reopening of Pools

A few days ago, we informed you that the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is now allowing public pools (including HOA pools) to open and operate in accordance with their County/City guidelines.  CDPH has also published its “Industry Guidance: Fitness Facilities” which can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-fitness.pdf   Please see pages 13 and 14 of this document for specific guidelines on swimming pools, which should be implemented statewide.   Importantly, according to the CDPH, saunas and steam rooms are closed statewide until further notice, and spas and hot tubs “should remain closed.”

San Diego County Allows Reopening of Pools

The San Diego County Health Officer just issued a new Order which allows for the opening of HOA swimming pools  beginning this Friday June 12, 2020.  San Diego County is requiring each pool operator complete and post a “Safe Reopening Plan” that shows conformance with the Order and with the State’s guidance on Fitness Facilities.  The County of San Diego’s “Public Swimming Pool Operations During COVID-19 Guidance” is available at https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/dam/sdc/deh/fhd/pool/covid19poolguidance.pdf  This Guidance contains requirements for a disinfection plan and oversight, limitations on users, and social distancing.  Importantly, San Diego County is not allowing use of saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs at this time.  A copy of the “Safe Reopening Plan” is available here.

Orange County Allows Reopening of Pools

At a press conference held this afternoon (June 11), the County of Orange Health Care Agency finally announced that pools (including HOAs) will be allowed to open on June 12!   The County’s website was updated at 5:10PM today to reflect this news (https://www.ochealthinfo.com/eh/water/pool).  Regarding applicable guidance, on May 7, the County issued its  “Coronavirus COVID-19 Guidance for Multi-Unit Housing Pool Facilities.” This is the County of Orange’s most recent guidance document, it has not changed yet, and it is available at https://www.ochealthinfo.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=115693   Based on that document, spas and hot tubs must be closed or limited to one household at a time.   Further, saunas and steam rooms may not open at this time.

Riverside County Allows Reopening of Pools

On May 6, the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health issued its “Community Pool Guidance – COVID-19” which is available at https://www.rivcoeh.org/Portals/0/PDF/COVID-19/83-20-DES-Community-Pool-Guidance-COVID-19.pdf  Like Orange County, saunas and steam rooms are closed, and spas and hot tubs need to be closed or limited to use by one household at a time.

Los Angeles County Allows Reopening of Pools

The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health has issued a four page set of guidelines called “Protocols for Reopening of Swimming Pools in Shared Residential Facilities,” which was last updated on May 27 and is available at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/docs/protocols/Reopening_ResidentialSwimmingPools.pdf   LA County is clear that guests cannot use the pool. It also has an occupancy limit equal to 25% of maximum occupancy or 10 people at a time, whichever is smaller.  Importantly, LA County is not allowing use of saunas, steam rooms. Hot tubs and spas are to remain closed or be limited to one household at a time.

Please contact our office if you desire assistance putting together rules for the operation of your pool.

Community Legal Advisors Inc.

Michael Alti, Esq.