Mayor explains why public swimming pools remain closed

  • KIM

  • The Kona Community Aquatic Center remains closed. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today, file)

Mayor Harry Kim on Monday released a statement explaining why public swimming pools must remain closed.

While most businesses, operations and activities were permitted to reopen June 15 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, public swimming pools were not. The facilities have been closed since March.

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“The most important reason we cannot reopen the pools is because of the inability to keep the rest rooms and showers clean,” Kim said in a press release. “The facilities need constant monitoring and disinfection to keep them clean due to the heavy use of the facilities by swimmers and non-swimmers, but that’s not feasible due to the shortage of personnel to do it.”

Kim said that while he understands the public’s desire to return to normal, his overriding responsibility is to ensure that people are safe from the coronavirus, under guidelines from the CDC regarding swimming pools, changing rooms and public bathrooms.

“Until we are assured that we can meet the responsibility to keep the bathrooms and the swimming pools clean, the pools will stay closed to ensure the public safety,” Kim said.

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He urged the community to keep up their observance of CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus, including social distancing, face coverings and hand washing.

Hawaii County on Saturday reported its first active case in over two weeks. As of noon Monday, Hawaii Island’s case count stood at 82 with all but one of those cases having since recovered and been released from isolation.

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