The District of Columbia announced Wednesday that public swimming pools and spray pads will be kept closed for the rest of this summer as a safety measure against the spread of the coronavirus.
“We understand residents look forward to escaping the summer heat at our pools. Out of an abundance of caution, and in consultation with the District’s public health experts, we have decided to prioritize the health and safety of residents,” said Delano Hunter, director of DC’s Department of Public Recreation, about the move.
The decision includes all outdoor pools, spray parks, and indoor aquatic centers in the District. There are currently 21 outdoor public pools in DC that are run by the Department. They have been closed since March 16.
Pools are technically permitted to reopen with the beginning of Phase 3 reopening. However, there are currently no signs that the city will move into the new phase before the end of this summer.
The total death toll from COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus, among District residents is nearing 600. The number of overall positive cases have passed 12,000.
“As national demand for testing increases and results take longer to come back in DC and across the country, DC Health has identified a need to increase the reporting lag time by four days to reduce volatility in the data. The most recent data reflects an increase in community spread,” Mayor Muriel Bowser‘s office wrote in a statement.
Bowser announced Wednesday that the District’s COVID-19 data now includes 202,825 completed tests.
Free coronavirus testing is provided by the city at public sites and at neighborhood firehouses. The District also partnered with CORE to offer additional free public testing sites. Residents can find their nearest testing site through NeedATestGetATest.com.