LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - While public swimming pools in Indiana could open as soon as May 24, officials in Kentucky have taken a more firm stance. Speaking in Frankfort Friday, Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said public pools would not be possible in May or June.
“There’s just almost no way you can put together a whole bunch of kids and people at a public pool and not have folks socializing and violating the social distancing rules of greater than 6 feet,” Stack said. “It’s just not pragmatically possible.”
Gov. Andy Beshear added that the restriction would apply to pools at apartment complexes.
Amy Albiero, a swimming instructor, believes privately owned training pools should be excluded from Stack’s recommendation.
Albiero is a coach for the Cardinal Aquatics swim team and the owner of SafeSplash + SwimLabs, a training center in Louisville. She believes her facility could reopen safely if given the chance.
“Our hope is that the governor can really look at pools, facilities that have pools, not all under one umbrella,” Albiero said.
Working with USA Swimming, Albiero drafted a phased plan to show how social distancing could work in her facility. SafeSplash + SwimLabs contains a traditional multi-lane, in-ground pool and three “endless” training pools where one person can swim against a current.
“With our proposal, there would never be more than seven people in our building at one time. For our facility, everyone would have their own individual pool which is very unique. There’s no other facility like this in the state,” she said.
Albiero tells WAVE 3 News the safety of her athletes is driving this push.
“The water’s really where they love to be... a lot of our athletes are starting to feel really depressed. Our fear is that they’re going to find ways to get in the water and do what they love,” Albiero said. “Whether in backyard pools; we have kids that have gone out and gotten wet suits. They’re getting lakes, they’re getting in rivers.”
The safety of younger swimmers is also top of mind for Albiero. She explained that drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death for young children and formal swimming lessons help reduce that risk.
The CDC has found no evidence of COVID-19 spreading through treated water in swimming pools.
Albiero’s proposal has been sent to Gov. Beshear and as of Saturday, she is still waiting for a response.