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Two Oyster Bay lifeguards test positive for virus, officials say

The pool at Marjorie Post park in Massapequa

The pool at Marjorie Post park in Massapequa was closed July 12. Credit: Google Maps

Two Oyster Bay municipal pools closed during the weekend after lifeguards at each pool tested positive for COVID-19, a town spokesman said Monday.

The Plainview community pool reopened Monday after closing on Saturday because a lifeguard tested positive Friday for the virus, town spokesman Brian Nevin said. 

“A lifeguard tested positive for COVID so we tested the entire staff at the pool before reopening,” Nevin said Monday. The lifeguard had gotten tested independently, but once they were determined to be positive the town used a contracted physician to test everyone else. Those tests revealed a cashier at the pool was also positive, Nevin said. 

The town’s Facebook page on Sunday said the Plainview pool had closed for “health and safety” reasons but did not elaborate. On Monday, a Facebook post said it had reopened “after undergoing intensive cleaning,” but that the Marjorie R. Post community pool in Massapequa was closed for health and safety reasons. 

“Same situation, different lifeguard,” Nevin said. The lifeguard at Marjorie Post tested positive on Saturday, he said, adding that the two lifeguards “hadn’t interacted with one another.”

The pool was closed Sunday. After the lifeguard tested positive independently, the town had the other Marjorie Post pool employees tested as well. 

The three who tested positive were all nonunion seasonal employees and had not been in contact with the public, Nevin said.

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Nassau County spokeswoman Christine Geed said Monday that the town had closed its pools independently and was not required to report the closures to the county. 

Guidance from Nassau County’s health department, which issues permits for municipal and privately operated pools, states that the temperatures of pool staff should be checked daily and that anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher or who shows symptoms of COVID-19 should be sent home.

The county recommends social distancing of 6 feet for pool staff and bathers who do not live in the same household. The county also recommends all heavy-traffic areas such as bathrooms, locker rooms and showers be sanitized “frequently each day.” 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face coverings at pool facilities but not in the water. “Cloth face coverings can be difficult to breathe through when they’re wet,” the CDC website states.

Nevin said no other lifeguards have tested positive at town pools. 

To date, 10 full-time employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began and none have died, Nevin said.

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