NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Mayor Bill de Blasio is offering a glimmer of hope that beaches and pools may open for swimming this summer. That’s if the city’s COVID-19 numbers stay low.

On a hot day, the glistening water off Orchard Beach in the Bronx looks calm and refreshing.

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But don’t think about diving in.

“It’s not fair that you have to pay to park to get in. You come on the beach, the beach is open, but yet you can’t go in the water,” beachgoer Lenore Masciotti told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes.

Parks Department security walked along the shoreline on Wednesday to make sure no one went in beyond getting their feet wet.


The mayor closed city beaches to swimming because of the coronavirus pandemic. He also said city pools would not open.

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But now, de Blasio said the city is reassessing everything, since the COVID-19 numbers have dropped.

“It’s gonna take a little patience, but, absolutely, we can have a conversation now with a little more opportunity to envision progress around beaches and now we can start a conversation around pools. I don’t know if we can get there, but at least we can begin that conversation,” de Blasio said.

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The city usually operates about 50 free outdoor pools each summer across the five boroughs, including in McCarren Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Many parents said they’re crucial for city kids looking to cool off.

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But in the age of COVID-19, others are hesitant.

“I need to see how it’s going to be handled. Is it going to be safe? How many people going to be allowed all at once? So, it depends on a lot of things,” said Isabelle Derond of Brooklyn.

“I think they definitely should open because these poor kids have been cooped up now for three-four months,” Guinevere Grant added.

“I think we should have a pool because it sucks to be inside all day,” one child said.

If the mayor does decide to open pools and beaches for swimming, a big question is if the city will be able to train and hire enough lifeguards.

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There’s no official plan yet from the city, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said it expects to put out guidance on opening outdoor pools over the next few days.