photo by Boyd Loving
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, Senator Declan O’Scanlon today called on the Murphy administration to end the confusion and fear that is preventing homeowner associations and residential communities from opening public pools.
“In order to conform to the PRB you have to submit your AFP and CPOPP to the LHA. No idea what the hell all that stands for?!? Welcome to the labyrinthine, Rube Goldberg world of operating a pool in New Jersey! Once you slog through the 48 pages of executive orders that apparently somehow apply, you then have to deal with the 11 pages of the NJCP&ARF standards (New Jersey COVID-19 Pools and Aquatic Recreation Facility Standards). Those pages contain more than 100 paragraphs, items and bullet points.
“Don’t have a “pool director” who has taken the appropriate online course work or a “pool ambassador” or temperature checks, properly competed staff questionnaires, reservation systems, limited hours, sign-in sheets, lines of demarcation on your pool deck, or, heaven forbid, your BLC (bather load calculation) is off?!? YOU’RE BREAKING THE RULES!” O’Scanlon continued. “And how about this gem:
- Designate COVID-19 Emergency Care Room
- Facilities must identify, locate, and designate a COVID-19 emergency care area/room for the care of those who become ill while on-site.
“Tell me, what condominium or association has a spare room they can designate as an Emergency Care Room?!?”
“And we’re just scratching the surface…there are dozens more. It’s insane,” O’Scanlon continued.
“All the chlorine and pool chemicals in the world won’t clear up the murky waters of doubt and fear that will continue to prevent communities from filling their pools. It is virtually impossible to be in conformance of this useless, micro-management nonsense,” said O’Scanlon. “Nobody is willing, or should have to, take the liability of inevitably failing to comply. These rules were dumb last year … they are absolutely, outrageously ludicrous this year.
“Volunteer board and association members are rightfully petrified that somebody could sue them for not following a rule that doesn’t make any sense,” said O’Scanlon. “Because of the Murphy administration rules, opening pools will open them to risks that they shouldn’t have to accept.”
The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee today advanced a bill that would protect senior communities and planned real estate communities with immunity relating to the spread of COVID-19.
“But the immunity only covers entities that are abiding by every one of these dozens of ridiculous mandates,” said O’Scanlon.
“Workers must monitor bathroom and locker room occupancy, cleanings are required multiple times each day … and a ‘pool ambassador’ is required.
“A pool ambassador! Are you kidding me? What qualifications do you need to be a pool ambassador?” asked O’Scanlon. “These kinds of nonsensical burdens will only ensure pools will remain unfilled and locked up for another summer. It is bureaucracy run amok.
“The bill passed today (S-3584) provides immunity for those who follow all the rules to the letter, which is virtually impossible,” the Senator continued. “The CDC has stated there is no evidence COVID can be spread in water, and there is overwhelming evidence that is not spreading outdoors or from surface contact.
“The guidelines and mandates laid down in almost 150 executive orders from Murphy must be rescinded where appropriate, and the rest updated and clarified,” said O’Scanlon. “Some are irrelevant, others are redundant, many were never necessary. It is time to throw out the mandates that no longer make sense, and clear the air of confusion.
“Rescind the EO’s, do away with AFP’s & CPOPP’s & NJP&ARFS‘s PDQ so pool users this year aren’t SOL! Governor, stop the madness!”