The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) is now conducting inspections at public pools across the state. Public pools are eligible to reopen under the state’s current Public Health Order and color-coded COVID-19 risk framework.
Under the current Public Health Order, public pool capacity is determined depending on how they are used:
– Pools used for recreational activities (such as water parks, splash pads, kiddie pools, pools at hotels/motels and apartment complexes, and pools operated by homeowner associations that are not strictly limited to physical therapy or socially distanced exercise) may operate under the following capacities:
a. Red – at 25% capacity (outdoor space only)
b. Yellow – at 33% capacity (outdoor space only)
c. Green – at 50% capacity of any outdoor space / 25% of any enclosed space
d. Turquoise – at 75% capacity of any outdoor space / 50% of any enclosed space
– Pools used solely for physical therapy or socially distanced exercise such as lane swimming may operate under the following capacities:
a. Red – at 25% capacity (outdoor or enclosed space)
b. Yellow – at 33% capacity (outdoor or enclosed space)
c. Green – at 50% capacity (outdoor or enclosed space)
d. Turquoise – at 75% capacity of any enclosed space / 100% capacity of any outdoor space
Public communal spas and hot tubs are still required to remain closed. The state’s COVID-19 guidelines are subject to change depending on the status of the virus in New Mexico.
There are 1,200 public pools across the state that fall under the jurisdiction of NMED. Per state law, NMED ensures public safety at each public pool annually. Through these inspections, NMED helps to prevent infections, injuries and accidental deaths at these facilities. NMED does not conduct inspections at public pools in Bernalillo County and Albuquerque, which administer their own pool safety programs.
All public pools must adhere to the CDC’s Considerations for Public Pools, Hot Tubs, and Water Playgrounds During COVID-19 as well as the “All Together New Mexico” COVID-safe Practices for Individuals and Employers.