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Public pools facing delays in reopening

Although the demand is there, here's why some aren't reopening just yet.

ATLANTA — Pools across the state are opening up, but here in Atlanta, there are two things causing a delay for some swim locations.

First, pools all need a yearly inspection, and, for summer season pools like Garden Hills in Buckhead, those inspections expired May 1. So, until that inspection is complete, they can’t open. And since the office that runs the inspections was closed for so long, there’s now a backlog.

Second, when it comes to city-owned pools, Atlanta said it wants to meet certain metrics before it considers opening any of them. State guidelines say that private pools can open.

It's a delay that regular member of the Garden Hills pool, Courtney Nickels, is trying to take in stride. 

“Everyone is sort of eager for the pool to open all wondering what is the plan”, she told 11Alive. Nickels, who has been a member of the for six years. She said she can’t wait to get back there with her children this summer.

RELATED: Can coronavirus spread in swimming pools? Here’s what you need to know

Angie Storsteen is the Executive Director of the pool and said they normally open May 10 for paying members, then open for the public by Memorial Day. 

“We just missed our opening day weekend, so we’re just waiting on those inspections and the go-ahead,” Storsteen said.

But the Garden Hills pool is not alone in dealing with delays. Since the Fulton County Board of Health was closed for so long due to the pandemic, many pools haven’t been able to schedule an inspection yet.

Meanwhile, the City of Atlanta told 11Alive it has a five-phase plan to reopen the city, with specific metrics for each phase – like seeing the seven-day average for new coronavirus cases consistently decline for 14 days.

Right now – the city is still in phase 1 of the reopening plan, with no possible date yet for when its pools could open.

Garden Hills now has an inspection set for Wednesday. In the meantime, Storsteen said they are doing all they can in advance, including spacing out chairs for social distancing and making a game plan for when the city says they can open the pool.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information. 

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