Pools Open in Limited Capacity

Posted By: Brett Waller Advocacy News, COVID-19 Resource Center,

The Governor has issued updated guidance on the use of private, limited use pools that are regulated under the Washington Administrative Code 246-260. These pool facilities can now open with restrictions. You must follow the Department of Health Guidance on the reopening of pools. 

We continue to advocate for the reopening of private fitness facilities in a limited capacity, but at this time, indoor fitness facilities remain closed.  

The following are some of the required limitations on reopening of pools in Phase 2. Please follow the Department of Health's Guidance on reopening pools and maintain all required policies and procedures prior to opening:

  • Residents must make an appointment in advance to use the pool. Use of the pool is limited to residents only, and must not include invited guests during these phases.
  • If an appointment system is not possible at your facility (e.g., hotel/motel pools and apartment pools), then the following must be met:
    • Maximum occupancy calculated according to the requirements in this section must be posted in conspicuous locations for all patrons to see.
      • Calculating maximum occupancy: The water surface area (square footage) of the pool plus the surface area of the perimeter deck divided by 162 for each pool. “Perimeter deck” is also known as wet deck, which means the pool deck area immediately adjacent to the pool’s edge. EXCEPTION: If combined water surface area of all pool(s) within an enclosure (room or fenced area) is less than 810 square feet and all patrons scheduled at one time are of the same household, follow the usual maximum bather load of the pool.
      • All patrons are able to comfortably and reasonably practice six-foot minimum physical distancing at all times except for between people from the same household.
    • Designated staff on site must periodically check the facility to ensure that the number of patrons in the facility does not exceed the maximum occupancy.
    • If it is not feasible to follow the above requirements, do not open the facility.
    • Organized programs at limited use pools, as defined in WAC 246-260, may not happen at these facilities without an appointment system. (No pool parties.)
  • Up to two people are allowed to occupy the same lane (6 feet minimum in width) at the same time and swim past each other for lap-swimming.

For more information on the re-opening of pools, please visit: 

Where there is conflict between federal and state guidance, the state guidance controls.