NEW YORK CITY — New York City opened eight public pools Friday, the first of 15 planned openings.
"I welcome this. We need it. They need it," grandmother Denise Palmer said. "It's a good thing."
Palmer's granddaughter Epiphany splashed and smiled in Mullaly Park Pool in the Bronx.
It's a day many never thought would come. In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, New York City's mayor was not optimistic pools would open.
According to Bronx Council Member Vanessa Gibson, "It took a lot of work, because at the beginning of the summer, you remember, there was talk of no pools opening at all."
So with major safety precautions in place and a limited number of pools opening, New Yorkers will get to swim this summer.
"I want to let the community know that we are taking all the necessary precautions that we can to safeguard the community," Bronx Parks Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa said.
According to the New York City Parks Department, masks and social distancing are required on pool decks, and capacity has been reduced by 30 percent.
As of now, there are two sessions for swimmers. The first is 11am to 3pm and then the pools close for an hour for cleaning. The second group of swimmers can come from 4pm to 7pm.
And if more people show up than capacity allows?
"Those that cannot come in, we will be giving them bracelets," Rodriguez-Rosa said. "So that the bracelets that they have will allow them to sort of speed pass and come back for the next session."
The following public pools opened on Friday:
- Mullaly Pool in the Bronx
- Kosciuszko Pool and Sunset Pool in Brooklyn
- Wagner Pool in Manhattan
- Liberty Pool and Fisher Pool in Queens
- Lyons Pool and Tottenville Pool in Staten Island
More pools will open on Aug. 1:
- Crotona Pool and Haffen Pool in the Bronx
- Betsy Head Pool in Brooklyn
- Jackie Robinson Pool and Marcus Garvey Pool in Manhattan
- Astoria Pool in Queens
The opening date for the Hamilton Fish Pool on Manhattan's Lower East Side has not yet been announced.
Pools will be open until September 7.