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Answers about when pools, gyms, playgrounds will reopen

New York State promises guidance on pools 'in the coming days.'

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With it being so hot Wednesday, a lot of families are wondering when pools will reopen.

2 On Your Side got some answers as we found out a little bit more about the status of pools Wednesday during the Governor's daily press conference.

"Can outdoor swimming pools safely reopen this summer?" asked a reporter.

"Can outdoor pools in Phase 2?" asked Governor Andrew Cuomo.

"In any phase?" asked the reporter.

"Do you know?" Cuomo asked Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa.

“It's something that we're looking at right now. We actually anticipate putting out guidance for the municipalities in the coming days," said DeRosa.

The YMCA is going to be part of Phase 4. We don't know when that's happening yet.
A spokesperson told 2 On Your Side that once the YMCA reopens, it will be in phases and the plan depends on guidelines from the Department of Health, which the YMCA doesn't have yet for pools.

The Town of Amherst Supervisor says the town pools will be available for swim lessons and general swim starting on July 6. 

Late last month, the Town of Tonawanda Supervisor told 2 On Your Side the town doesn't plan on opening its pools this summer. They're closed until further notice.

And, in Buffalo, there's a message on the web saying many summer activities have been suspended.

Gym owners across Western New York have a lot of questions about the reopening plans for gyms. They don’t know when they will be able to reopen.

"Haven't really been told anything. Honestly, you know, I've searched online many times to try and find something. There was strict guidance of when we shut down, but not really any guidance on when we're opening back up," says Kari Baker.

Baker owns Curves in West Seneca. She's been closed this whole time and is ready to reopen, but she doesn't know what phase gyms are in yet. She knows they are not part of Phase 2.

"It is frustrating. I don't know whether it's three or four, and reading through the Phase 3 guidelines, there's no mention of gyms to open, or even not to open, so we don't know," says Baker.

Baker says whenever her gym reopens, extra sanitizing will be involved.

"Asking people to wash their hands before and after their workout, changing shoes when they come in, and, just if they want to wear a mask they can. The staff will be masked, but the people working out can if they would like to, however, it might be a little bit difficult to work out in a mask," says Baker.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the YMCA told me reopening plans would include capacity limits. When gyms reopened in Texas, they were only allowed to operate at 25-percent capacity, and showers and locker rooms were closed.

Playgrounds started closing in March, and now that it's June, kids want to play outside. Some towns took down swings, put up yellow tape, and took down basketball hoops.

In Orchard Park, parks and playgrounds reopen June 27. Day camps are limited to two of the 18 camps Orchard Park usually runs for ten weeks because they are Erie County Health Department certified. Among the changes, temperatures will be taken before parents leave. If a child's temperature is higher than 99 degrees, campers will be sent home for the day.

The YMCA hasn't received plans from the state yet for playgrounds. 

And just this week, the Town of Hamburg decided to cancel day camps for the summer. Parks are open, but playgrounds are not.

"Recreation, in general, is Phase 4. We'll follow the guidelines from the various health agencies, the state health department, county health department, in terms of what use that we allow, but again, people can use the parks. Now we have, we have, a number of programs related to the playgrounds, we have supervised playgrounds, in some cases, we have a lunch program there, but we have canceled those for the year," says Marty Denecke from the Town of Hamburg Department of Recreation, Youth, and Senior Services.

If you have questions about pools or playgrounds in your community, call your local rec department.

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