Swimmers in Lawrence County wanting to take a dip will have to look elsewhere this Memorial Day weekend.
The county's four outdoor pools in Ellwood City, New Wilmington, Neshannock Township and Mahoning Township are in a holding pattern waiting for updates from the state Department of Health on guidance on when they can open.
Ellwood City's Veterans' Memorial Pool in Ewing Park is filled and ready to be enjoyed, while the borough paid its annual costs to the Beaver County YMCA to run it.
"It has not been canceled," Mayor Anthony Court said. "I think it's a 50-50 proposition that the pool will be opened this summer."
Court said if the pool does open, he thinks it will be a big draw because many other events are canceled and other pools are closed. That will create a situation the borough will have to address on how to make sure there are no large crowds.
"Plans are status quo and it's not been canceled," Court said. "As Mayor, I'm thinking it might be opened at a later date this summer."
The Neshannock Swimming Pool Association's pool in Pearson Park won't be open for Memorial Day.
The pool, due to state mandates, can't open until Lawrence County moves into the "green" phase of reopening, the association said in a Thursday update it sent to members and the community. Once the county goes green, the pool will be filled and open for the season. The pool association is waiting for firm timelines and guidelines before it reaches a decision, though.
The same goes in New Wilmington as well as Mahoning Township, where a township spokesperson said that the municipality's pool will not be open for Memorial Day, and could not offer a timetable as to when it might welcome swimmers.
"The supervisors haven't made any decisions yet about that," she said. "They're waiting to see what Governor Wolf does, and how everything works out. There's not much else we can do right now."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through the water used in pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds and that proper operation and disinfection of water should kill the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the CDC is recommending when or if pools open — at the discretion of local health authorities — that precautions are followed, like making sure railings and other surfaces are wiped down and spreading out furniture so patrons are at least six feet apart from one another.