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Illinois health officials release Phase 4 guidelines for swimming facilities

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 6:06 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KWQC) - The Illinois Department of Public Health released guidelines for swimming facilities that go along with Phases 4 of the plan to restore Illinois.

Health officials said under the Phase 4, swimming facilities licensed by IDPH can open at a maximum of 50% capacity. This includes swimming pools, water parks, splash pads and beaches.

“There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through the water in pools and water playgrounds,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, in a news release. “However, the virus can still spread between people while in the pool, playing at a water park, or in a spa. Make sure to keep your distance from other people, especially if waiting in line or sitting around the pool.”

Health officials said swimming facilities are required to have plans addressing how to maintain a physical distance for areas where people line up to use a water slide, lazy river or other water features. This can be done by putting up signs, having attendants monitor people or using other markings.

The plan also must address sanitization of all equipment, such as tubes, rafts and lounge chairs. According to health officials, these must be sanitized between each use.

Health officials said operators should limit group sizes to no more than 50 people. Everyone including operators, employees and customers should wear face coverings when not swimming or using other water features, health officials said. Exceptions can be made for children younger than two years or people with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a face covering.

Health officials said pools and water parks should require temperature checks for its employees and customers when entering the facility, as well as in-person screenings to make sure people do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.

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