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SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCIES ISSUE ORDER TO CLOSE PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS

Closures to include pools in apartments, clubs, hotels/motels and recreational centers

SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN-Today, the City of Detroit Health Department, Wayne County Public Health Division, Oakland County Health Division and Macomb County Health Department each issued Public Health Orders requiring all swimming pools licensed by each jurisdiction to remain closed indefinitely.

These orders are issued under the Michigan Public Health Code to safeguard Southeast Michigan residents from potential transmission of COVID-19. Pool operators will be required to continue scheduled maintenance in accordance with the Michigan Administrative Rule.

With temperatures rising, swimming pools have potential to attract large groups. As regional leaders, we are committed to doing the right thing, and closing pools is the right thing to do to protect the health and safety of residents and prevent the spread of the virus.

This effort is also intended to help reduce the potential of a summer spike in new COVID-19 cases that could prevent schools from opening in the fall.

Although pool water poses a low risk of transmitting COVID-19, it is difficult to maintain social distance in and around pools, as well as in the associated facilities- enclosures, deck areas and sanitary facilities.

Licensed pools include those in apartments, clubs, condominiums, and hotels. Other recreational pools include, but are not limited to dive pools, wave pools, and water slide pools. Therapy pools used strictly for treatment in healthcare settings are excluded from this closure.

Upon re-opening, pool operators must contact their respective Public Health Authority for an opening inspection to ensure the health and safety of residents, including the required water sample analysis.

Public health agencies continue to encourage residents to do their part to protect themselves and others by practicing social distancing and following basic prevention steps:

  • Wash hands with soap & water frequently; use hand sanitizer when soap & water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your inner elbow when you cough of sneeze
  • Wear a mask while out in public areas
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick
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WAYNE COUNTY LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT

EMERGENCY PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER IN RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

UNDER MCL 333.2453

CLOSURE OF PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS

ORDER # 20-03

On May 28, 2020, I, Carol Austerberry, the Health Officer of the Wayne County Local Health Department, am issuing this Local Public Health Emergency Order # 20-03 for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pursuant to section 333.2453 of the Public Health Code of the State of Michigan, as it has been determined that it is necessary to protect the public health from further transmission of COVID-19 within the jurisdiction of the Wayne County Local Health Department, which is Wayne County, excluding the City of Detroit.

I am issuing this order for closure of public swimming pools, as defined in section 333.12521(d) of the Michigan Public Health Code, and located within Wayne County, excluding the City of Detroit, to limit the community's exposure to COVID-19. Although water in a properly maintained aquatic venue does not pose an undue risk of COVID-19 transmission, the lack of ability to maintain social distancing in and around the pool, as well as in the associated facilities, enclosures, deck areas, sanitary facilities, all of which provide opportunities to congregate and transmit the disease. Public swimming pools are a non-essential amenity.

Restrictions must be instituted regarding the use of public swimming pools at this time to minimize the spread of COVID-19 through human interaction. As such, the Wayne County Local Health Officer hereby orders the following to take effect on May 28, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

All public swimming pools as defined in the Michigan Public Health Code, Act 368 of 1978 section 333.12521(d) must remain closed to the public until it is determined by the Health Officer of the Wayne County Local Health Department that the threat to the public's health and lives presented by COVID-19 is no longer present. Owners of public swimming pools shall POST A COPY of this order on the outside entrance(s) to the facility, so that it is visible to all employees and persons who come to or visit the location of the public swimming pool.

Public swimming pools, as defined by section 333.12521(d), are an artificial body of water used collectively by a number of individuals primarily for the purpose of swimming, wading recreation, or instruction. This order applies to all pools licensed as public pools by Wayne County, including all those that are connected to or used by more than 4 units of housing, whether houses, condominiums, apartments, mobile homes, hotels, or motel rooms. Categorically speaking, this order applies to swimming pools, cold plunge pools, diving pools, hot tubs, scuba diving pools, spa pools, training tanks, wading pools, water slide pools, wave pools, special purpose pools, and spray pads, which includes all these types of pools that are located at parks, schools, motels, camps, resorts, apartments, clubs, hotels, mobile home parks, subdivisions and water parks.

To not create a situation that could cause a public health hazard, it is essential for operators to maintain public swimming pools and spas in accordance with the Michigan State Public Swimming Pools rules. In accordance with State of Michigan Administrative Rule R325.2118b of the Michigan Public Health Code, Act 368 of 1978 section 333.12521, "The owner of a swimming pool which is not in use or for which an operation permit is not in effect shall maintain the pool in a condition that prevents it from creating a hazard to health and safety."

This includes maintaining water chemistry and water circulation to prevent the degradation of engineered systems, the development of a biofilm which can potentially create an environment for the growth of human pathogens such as but not limited to, legionella pneumophila and pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. In addition, failure to maintain water chemistry and water circulation will create a situation of stagnant water that is a breeding habitat for mosquitos that can carry and transmit vector borne diseases such as west nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis.

Bacteriological Samples

In accordance with Rule R325.215, once per quarter, it is the responsibility of the owner of the pool for collection and analysis of water samples for coliform bacteria. The presence of total coliform bacteria or pathogenic organisms is unacceptable water quality. This water sampling and analysis requirement remains in effect under this Public Health Order.

Re-opening

Prior to re-opening a public swimming pool and after the Public Health Officer declares that a public health threat no longer exists that requires the closure of public pools, in accordance with Rule R325.2118a, the owner must contact the Wayne County Local Health Department for an opening inspection. In addition, a condition of re-opening is the collection of a water sample that has been analyzed and has an acceptable water quality result as prescribed by Rule R325.2194.

Exclusions from this Public Health Order

Therapy pools or engineered water devices utilized under the direction of healthcare personnel for the purpose of providing therapy/healthcare to patients may remain open for the limited purposes of providing necessary medical services.

Such measures will be enforced, and any violations are subject to citation and penalties as outlined in the Michigan Public Health Code. This order will remain in effect until it is determined by the Health Officer of the Wayne County Local Health Department that the threat to the public's health and lives is no longer present. This order may be revised as well as supplemented with specific procedures and orders in accordance with the Michigan Public Health Code.

This order #20-03 is hereby effective as of May 28, 2020 at 7 PM EDT.

Carol Austerberry, RS, MS, MPA

Wayne County Dept. of Health, Human & Veterans Services

Division Director/Local Health Officer