Overlook Pool

Kids play in the water at Manheim Township Overlook Pool.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published May 18. 

Skyline and Overlook pools in Manheim Township are tentatively scheduled to open in June, and the township is still selling season passes.

Township officials have already rescheduled the openings of the pools once, and are waiting for guidelines provided by state officials in determining when, and if, the pools can open.

The Manheim Township Recreation Department announced the new opening dates for Skyline and Overlook pools — June 6 and June 20, respectively — last Tuesday. 

The Recreation Department is currently "preparing to keep everything as safe as we can while following CDC guidelines," Director Matt Stopa said. 

Stopa added that the opening dates could continue to be pushed or — worst case scenario — the pools won't open if the state doesn't allow it. 

A post on the department's Facebook page said opening dates for Skyline and Overlook pools — initially scheduled for May 23 and June 6 respectively — were pushed back in hopes of getting "clarity from the state on what we can and cannot do." 

"The decision to open the pool will not be decided by Manheim Township, it is decided by what PA state government will allow us to do," the post said. 

Stopa said the Recreation Department doesn't want to publicize any safety guidelines they'll implement if the pools do open quite yet, as CDC recommendations could continue to change or new state guidelines could be introduced before the tentative opening date. 

The Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society currently advises pools to open only during Gov. Tom Wolf's "green" phase. Once public pools open, PRPS recommends that pools implement physical distancing measures and limit "active zones" to 25 people.

However, PRPS defers to the state, which has not released any guidance on public pools.

There is no evidence COVID-19 can be spread to people through pools, hot tubs, spas or water play areas, the CDC said. 

"Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water," the CDC said. 

The CDC suggests public pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds to promote guidelines including: guests and staff should wash their hands often and cover coughs and sneezes; stay home if they feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19; keep hand sanitizer or soap on hand; signage about stopping the spread of COVID-19 should be posted; and guests and staff should wear cloth masks when they are not in the water. 

Pools should also "maintain healthy operations," and prepare for when someone gets sick, the CDC said. All of these guidelines should be made "locally, in collaboration with local health officials."

Lancaster County remains under the "red" phase of Wolf's reopening plan despite some county officials pushing for a move to the "yellow" phase late last week.

Anyone who buys a pool season pass for Skyline and Overlook will be refunded if the opening date is pushed back again, if pools are not allowed to open, or if they don't feel safe going to the pool prior to the opening.