Public pools remain closed as Gov. Abbott gives cities green light to reopen


RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – Governor Abbott rolled out the third phase of reopening the state economy. Phase three allowed waterparks and swimming pools to open at 50%.

Some cities are still trying to figure out a plan for residents to cool off safely.

The blazing sun has Omar Ruiz and his family looking for a place to cool off in Harlingen.

“For the most part, I’m enjoying the weather I do like the hot weather,” he said.

Temperatures today were in the high 90’s, a small taste of what the Valley summer will bring.

The only way many families cool off are at public parks and pools but they have been closed for months.

“We’ve just mainly been going every weekend to the island just to get away from being quarantined,” Ruiz said.

Harlingen is in the beginning stages of creating a plan to reopen the city’s pools.

COVID-19 shut all pools down and the city relocated staff to other departments. Right now, the city is rehiring staff and have no date set to when they will reopen.

“I think they should come up with a plan where we can keep our distancing but have fun at the same time,” said Ruiz.

Public pools is a way for the city to make money. The Harlingen information officer tells us the city will not lose out on revenue because the pools typically open in mid-June.

As temperatures continue to climb, families like Ruiz are eager to take a dip, to beat the Valley heat.

“They just can’t get enough of it. We can go there and they definitely don’t want to leave, they cry when we leave,” he said.

Harlingen Parks and Recreation Department will release a plan and changes for public pools by next week.

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