PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- It could be weeks before Phoenix pools, playgrounds, and libraries reopen. On Tuesday, Mayor Kate Gallego and the City Council discussed opening some facilities closed amid the COVID-19 crisis, but some councilmembers worry it’s too soon.

The work-study session began with city officials presenting graphs of coronavirus data, including news cases, that show Maricopa County has not been on a steady downward trend in the past two weeks.

Councilwomen Laura Pastor and Betty Guardado voiced concerns that certain amenities would put students at risk of getting sick ahead of the new school year.

“I don’t think it makes sense to open pools or other places that would put folks at risk,” said Councilman Carlos Garcia. Other members of the Council said it was time to start opening.

“[Residents] want to go back to normalcy,” said Councilman Sal DiCiccio. “For us to do that, we’re going to have to show some leadership and open up.”

“I really would like to see the swimming pools open,” said Councilwoman Thelda Williams. “I’m a firm believer you keep kids busy, and they stay out of trouble.”

City officials noted a time-sensitive nature to opening some amenities. Some departments would need weeks to train, staff up properly, and plan programs. City officials considered it might not be worth launching swim and day camp programs if they were to only last a few days.

Phoenix City Council work-study

Pastor suggested monitoring COVID-19 data for another two weeks and decide if the numbers show it’s safer to open then. City Manager Ed Zuercher said there’s still time to monitor the data if the Council chooses to base its decisions on metrics.

The Council is not expected to vote on items in a work-study session, and it's unclear when it will take up the issue again.

 

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