Whoopee!!! It’s Opening!!!!

One (of several) not-well-thought-out restrictions the City pronounced in its Covid protection rush was closing the spaced swimming lanes at the YMCAs of Honolulu. (The others included no park or beach use, then “solo” use, allowing customers to go to car showrooms but not furniture stores, and favoring big box merchants over small retailers selling mostly the same stuff.)

Now, Mayor Caldwell’s Tier 1 order yesterday will permit the Y pools to reopen. This is sensible because people need the exercise and the Ys were carefully disinfecting. Mine, the Kaimuki-Waialae facility, allowed 5 swimmers in 5 spaced lanes every 45 minutes. Then for 15 minutes, lifeguards disinfected everything swimmers might have touched. Then the next 5 were admitted. The waiting 5 (website reservations) had to keep their distance and wear their masks. Masks came off only upon entering the pool.

Here’s the email I got today. The Y should never have been required to close that pool.


The City and County of Honolulu’s “Tier 1” phase of their reopening plan allows pools to reopen starting Thursday, September 24.  Indoor fitness facilities are not allowed to reopen in Tier 1. To allow time to recalibrate our pools and unfurlough needed staff members and lifeguards, the Y tentatively plans to reopen our pools to individual lap swimming beginning Monday, September 28 Under the City and County’s reopening plan, Fitness Centers are only allowed to offer outdoor activities limited to groups of no more than 5 people, starting Thursday, September 24.  The Y is currently evaluating the possibility of adding group exercise classes of up to 5 people in our pools and in outdoor areas. 

  Details of our Y’s “Tier 1” reopening will be emailed to members on Wednesday, September 23, and posted on our website.  In the meantime, we continue to offer a full schedule of live streaming group exercise classes that can be accessed by Y members through our online reservation system, with details on our website at https://www.ymcahonolulu.org/virtual-y 

Mahalo for your patience at this time!
Sasha Tolbert
YMCA of Honolulu

Published by Bob Jones

Journalist since age 19. St. Petersburg Times, Noticias y Viajes in Madrid, Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt and Paris, the Louisville Courier- Journal, the Honolulu Advertiser, KGMB-TV, NBC News foreign correspondent in Africa and Southeast Asia, and MidWeek columnist. LL.B LaSalle University Law. 3 years in the U.S. Air Force. Covered: Biafran War in Nigeria (1968) Vietnam War (1969-73), Iraq in 1991. George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished journalism for reporting in China. 2 Emmys for documentaries. Married to journalist Denby Fawcett; one daughter. Brett Jones, foreign service officer, State Department.

5 replies on “Whoopee!!! It’s Opening!!!!”

  1. 262 days to the Olympic Trials and it doesn’t look like our competitive swimmers will be allowed back in the pool anytime soon. Mark Takai must be spinning in his grave . . .

  2. The city pools are Olympic size and have the same system. The only drawback is that they are open only five days a week from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. However, the City and County pools are free and a senior membership at the Y costs $49.00 per month. I have a free membership at 24 hour fitness, but I am not sure if they would only open the pools.

  3. Hi Bob,
    Either you or your readers may have more information on a curiosity I came across recently.

    I was having my car worked on near the airport and brought my bicycle along to kill some time while I’m was waiting.

    I peddled out around the locked gate to Lagoon Park near the Airport and in the distance, I saw literally hundreds of blue and gray tents pitched on the grass near restrooms and temporary shade canopies. There were middle aged, and younger mixed race men hanging around and there was bedding materials and clothes.
    hanging on the fences

    A cop car pulled up beside me and told me that the park was closed and I had to leave. I asked him what the tents were for and he said they were for COVID isolation. I peddled away and he slowly followed me out of the park.

    Anyone heard about this or know what is going on? Just curious.

  4. Bob let’s skip the chlorine pools & go Kaimana swim the flag. Sharks there are harmless blacktips feeding on Halalu👍

  5. Our Donkeys are Pessimistic they begin their COVID 19 Tier at phase 1. If our Donkeys were Optimistic should they not begin at the COVID 19 Tier 4 and work in reverse?

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