Kids cool off last summer at the Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo...

Kids cool off last summer at the Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo Memorial Spray Park in Huntington. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Public swimming pools in Suffolk County's five western towns will remain closed this summer to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, officials said Thursday.

Officials of the five towns said in a news release they reluctantly came to the conclusion that it was too risky to open pools and possibly put the health of residents and children in jeopardy.

Babylon, Huntington and Islip also plan to close their municipal spray parks for the rest of the year, town officials said. Brookhaven spokesman Kevin Molloy said the town plans to open spray parks on June 27. Smithtown will open its spray parks, towns spokeswoman Nicole Garguilo said.

“After much consideration, we unfortunately do not believe that we can make our pools and spray parks available this summer in a manner that is safe for both our residents and employees,” the five town supervisors said in a joint statement released by Huntington. “It breaks our heart to make this announcement, knowing how much our residents love these facilities and rely on them to cool off in the hot summer months. It was a difficult decision but one that we feel is in the best interest of protecting public health, which is our utmost priority as we continue to battle COVID-19.”

Beaches and parks in all five towns will remain open, with visitors asked to follow social distancing guidelines. Face coverings are required in common areas of the parks.  

Huntington Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci said in a statement: “This summer will be different than others, but we are doing what we can to preserve as much of a normal summer as possible. I encourage our residents to visit our beautiful beaches, follow the safety guidelines and stay healthy."

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