Pools still awaiting ruling on permission to reopen


Health clubs and gyms were granted permission to restart their businesses

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Earlier this month, gyms and health clubs were allowed to open, but the restrictions weren’t lifted at pools, which leaves the aquatic aspect of fitness up in the air.

Barracuda Swim Club and Science Hill head coach Chris Coraggio knows, just like most of us, that this has been an unusual time, especially for his teams.

“They haven’t had a lot of normalcy the last couple of months,” Coraggio said. “Obviously we want to get back to life as usual, but that normal is not going to be coming for a while.”

What could help speed up the process for pools to open is the cleanliness of the activity.

“So the CDC has actually come out and said that the pool environment, if properly maintained, which the pools around here are, the pool environment is one of the safest environments for exercise,” Coraggio said. “It provides a mental release from the stress; it gives the kids a sense of something that’s normal.”

When the pools are allowed to open back up, the former Northern Michigan University coach knows he’s got to implement some restrictions on his athletes, which include cutting down the number of swimmers in a lane and closing down the locker rooms to help with social distancing.

“We have a plan, pretty well roughed out anyway, but finalizing that plan, communicating to our members, so when they come to the pool, they get what’s expected,” Coraggio said.

Coraggio also said that fall is a good guess for things to get back to normal for the swimming community.

“Maybe September, October, November, coming back to business as usual as far as meets go, but even that may have to have some tweaks,” Coraggio said. “That’s a good thing because it takes the pressure off the swimmer, especially a high-level swimmer, to come back and to do too much, too soon and then get injured.”

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