April 16, 2020 By Christian Murray
New York City’s public pools will be be shut this summer.
Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement at a press briefing this morning when he also warned that beaches may close too.
The city operates more than 50 outdoor pools, including seven in Queens. The mayor said the pools need to remain closed to curb the transmission of the coronavirus. He said that the city will continue to stop large gatherings and ensure people are following social distancing guidelines.
The pools are typically open from the end of June—after public school closes for the year—through to Labor Day.
The pool closures are expected to save the city $12 million.
The city is making big cuts to the budget, as tax revenue has plummeted.
Council Member Costa Constantinides, whose district includes the public pool at Astoria Park, said the mayor made the right decision.
“Mayor de Blasio’s decision to close our public pools was no doubt a difficult but necessary decision to flatten the curve,” Constantinides said. “Challenging times require tough decisions.”
Constantinides, however, notes that the closure of the pools will see the loss of seasonal jobs, often taken by teenagers. He is calling on the mayor to find other ways to keep younger residents employed and engaged.
“The city must come up with a plan to provide our youngest New Yorkers with quality programming that keeps them safe, engaged and healthy,” Constantinides said. “I am ready to work with the administration to find a constructive solution to this.”