Making a splash: Majority of communities plan on opening pools this summer

Young friends play in a community pool. Communities across the U.S. are deciding on opening pools during the pandemic following proper protocols

by Amy Repke | May 11, 2021


With summer quickly approaching, many community association boards continue to discuss how to safely open swimming pools and other amenities for residents to enjoy in the warmer months. CAI’s newly published report, Pool Position: Swim Season Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic, examines steps communities across the U.S. are taking to opening pools this year.

“The decision to open or close the community pool has been one of the biggest challenges facing associations during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the vaccine rollout continues, pandemic fatigue is creating new pressures to relax restrictions,” says Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, CAI’s chief executive officer.

More than half (54%) of the almost 1,000 CAI members surveyed this spring say they will open their community pool as scheduled for the 2021 summer season, compared to only 7% that opened pools on time last year. However, more than a quarter of all respondents are still undecided about proceeding with opening pools this summer.

Some recommendations contained in the report include:

  • Restricting pool use to only residents by issuing a “no guest” policy.
  • Limiting the number of people allowed in the pool area at one time.
  • Removing most or all furniture to better maintain 6 feet of distance between residents.
  • Closing pools briefly throughout the day to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Providing sufficient equipment to minimize sharing or requiring disinfecting between uses.

“Our mission has been to assess the situation nationally and provide programs, resources, and guidance to help our volunteer board members, community managers, and professional business partners navigate this sensitive topic,” says Skiba. “We believe that our member communities have been making great strides to open amenities and other common areas while complying with federal, state, and local public health guidelines.”

Community association leaders can review the 2021 pools survey and learn how other communities across the country are planning to operate their pool this season, examine the latest safety guidelines, and gain access to sample documents to communicate protocols to residents. Pool Position: Swim Season Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic is free for CAI members and $19.99 for nonmembers.

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