*** NOTE: The guidelines relating to swimming pool closures have been changed since this article was first published. Please find the most up-to-date information here.
Boards of community associations with pools may have been struggling with the decision of whether to open those pools for the 2020 summer season. Any further debate, for the time being, was quashed by the May 28, 2020 joint decision of the health departments of Oakland, Wayne and Macomb County, as well as the City of Detroit, to order the closure of all public swimming pools until further notice to protect against the spread of COVID-19. While there is no evidence COVID-19 can be spread through pool water, the gathering of people at the pool was deemed to be a significant threat.
Any pool used by or connected to a condominium or subdivision having more than 4 dwellings or units is deemed to be a public swimming pool subject to these orders. However, keeping the pool closed to residents and guests is not the only obligation of community association. Pool operators are also expected to:
- Post a copy of the respective order so that it is visible to employees and visitors.
- Ensure that the pool does not become a hazard to health and safety, which includes maintaining proper water chemistry and circulation.
- Continue the quarterly collection of water samples to check for coliform bacteria (Macomb County requires weekly testing). ^1
We suggest you contact your regular pool maintenance company to discuss the steps necessary to comply with these orders.
In theory, the prohibition on pool use could be lifted before the end of the 2020 swim season, and the pool could be reopened following a health department inspection and acceptable water testing. But given the significant planning associated with reopening the pool and other comprehensive measures needed to comply with CDC guidelines, it is likely most communities in the tri-county area will not be enjoying their pools this year. Below are links to the relevant health department websites and orders.
City of Detroit: Detroit Public Health Order – Closure of Public Swimming Pools
If there are any questions, please contact one of our firm’s attorneys.
1 The City of Detroit Order does not specifically reference #2 and #3, but these are requirements under the Michigan Administrative Code for public swimming pools.