WEST HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – It’s been a long wait, but most outdoor pools are opening Friday on Long Island, just in time for the July 4th holiday weekend.

In order to keep attendance down, only residents are allowed at county, town or village sprinkler parks, spray parks and splash pools.

There are also added safety protocols to reduce the chances of spreading coronavirus, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.

“The fact that the pool is either chlorinated or is salt water will, effectively, kill any virus. It will be diluted out and anyone who swims in the lane next to you or gets splashed by water will not be infected,” said Dr. Sharon Nachman of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. “The answer is not the water, it’s the hanging out with people in close proximity to them.”

“It’s a strange 2020. We’re happy to reopen the pools. There are some limitations. There’s gonna be a 50% capacity, there will not be any pool chairs,” Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin said.

Locker rooms and adjacent indoor pools remain closed.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Lifeguards, meanwhile, are in high demand because certification courses were stalled.

Knowing how to swim does not mean someone is drown-proof. Drowning is silent and can happen in seconds. With that and COVID-19 in mind, there are new CPR guidelines.

“Basically, you would be putting your face literally inches from somebody else’s face. We have now transferred that to a bag mask valve,” said Justine Anderson, aquatic coordinator for Hempstead Pools.

The bag mask valve lessens the risk of exposure.

Hand sanitizer and sunscreen will be passed out at every pool location.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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