Memorial Day weekend is typically when the City of Houston opens its swimming pools to the public.
But kids and adults all across the city must find other ways to cool off, at least for the time being.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Thursday that the city will keep its 38 pools and 27 splash pads closed until further notice, citing concerns about the potential spread of COVID-19. Among the impacted locales is T.C. Jester Park in Oak Forest.
“I know that this decision may disappoint some families, but it is the responsible thing for the city to do,” Turner said. “It is impossible to enforce social distancing in public pools and impossible to protect children and others from the viral spread. There is no vaccine and no cure for the coronavirus, so we’d rather be more cautious, especially as it relates to our children, at this particular point in time.”
While city-operated pools are remaining closed, Houston’s 380 municipal parks are remaining open. Steve Wright, the director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, said the city also plans to reopen three of its golf courses, all five of its disc golf courses and three of its tennis court complexes on June 1, albeit with social distancing restrictions.
The recently renovated golf course as well as the tennis courts at Memorial Park are among those slated to reopen. Among the disc courses to reopen is the 21-hole course at T.C. Jester Park.
In the meantime, Wright encouraged city residents to visit municipal parks this weekend. He also asked prospective visitors to wear masks and maintain at least 6 feet of separation from people who are not part of the same household.
“This is something that all of us as Houstonians need to embrace and understand,” Wright said. “All of our actions affect the lives of others as well.”
For more information, visit houstonparks.org.