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State Releases Guidance For Recreation, Including Parks, Pools & Gyms

DENVER (CBS4) - Colorado health officials released finalized guidance Thursday for personal and outdoor recreation, including parks, pools and gyms. The Colorado Department of Health and Environment sought and incorporated feedback from the public before finalizing the guidance.

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(credit: CBS)

The new guidelines are in accordance with Governor Jared Polis' executive order, "Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors." Recreation activities are now permitted in groups of 10 or fewer with people physically distanced and wearing masks, unless explicitly prohibited in the public health order.

On Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis announced a new executive order allowing businesses to refuse service to anyone not wearing a face covering. The executive order has been signed goes into effect immediately.

Indoor gyms, fitness classes, recreation centers, bowling alleys, pools, indoor sports facilities:

  • Limit capacity to 25%, or 50 people per room, whichever is fewer with people spaced 6 feet apart.
  • Lap swim is strongly encouraged at pools. Pools with open swim are asked to reduce interactions between people not in the same household.
  • Team sports should be limited to 25 players, excluding coaches.
  • Disinfect equipment in between each use.
  • Request staff members and patrons wear face coverings when they can do so safely.
  • Conduct symptom and temperature checks for employees.
  • Employees who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms should not come to work.

Organized recreational sports:

  • Maximum of 25 players at a time, excluding coaches and referees/umpires are permitted.
  • Spectators are strongly discouraged for adult sports.
  • Parents are permitted to watch youth sports if they maintain social distancing.
  • Local public health officials may request roster information if exposure occurs, for contact tracing efforts.
  • Consider participating in low or no-contact sports (like baseball, cross country, or cycling) instead of high-contact sports (like wrestling or soccer).
  • Consider encouraging use of personal equipment.
  • Consider only holding games with other teams every 2 weeks, to minimize the number of new teams of players interacting.
  • Games that require extensive travel are strongly discouraged.
  • Masks are encouraged where feasible (i.e. in dugouts, by coaches, by spectators).
  • Competitive events such as races are allowed as long as social distancing and limitations on group size can be maintained. Staggered start times are one suggestion.

Outdoor swimming pools:

  • Limit the pool to 50% capacity, up to 50 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Encouraged to establish a reservation system to space out visitor attendance and aid in contract tracing if exposures occur.
  • It is strongly encouraged to limit pool activity to lap swim. If you permit open swim, make efforts to reduce in-poor interactions.
  • Frequently touched surfaces and shared objects should be disinfected every hour between use.
  • Provide visual cues and signs to ensure social distancing.

This includes any pool open to the public, including municipal pools, homeowner association pools, pools at fitness centers, hot tubs, and developed hot springs. CDC guidance on COVID-19 pool safety can be found here.


  • Playgrounds may be open to up to 10 people at a time – consider signage with the capacity limit and spacing recommendations.
  • Post signage reminding people to maintain social distancing.
  • Outdoor sports facilities for individual (non-league) use (e.g., tennis courts, basketball courts, pickleball courts, bike tracks, motocross tracks, fields) may be open to up to 25 people at a time per court or per field.
  • Clean frequently touched areas as often is feasible (e.g., park benches or playground equipment).
  • Space out visitor attendance by extending operating hours or limiting capacity whenever possible.

Outdoor Recreation/Outdoor Guides/Tours/Outfitters:

  • Non-guided outdoor recreation of any kind can occur in groups up to 10, and must follow local policies.
  • Non-guided equipment rentals should follow retail guidelines.
  • Guided services, including overnight services, for fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, ATV tours, hunting, snowmobiling, skiing, and climbing can occur in groups up to 10, not including staff , and must follow local policies.
  • River outfitters, rafting, or jeep tours can occur if parties in boats and jeeps are limited to members of up to two households only, and must follow local policies.

More guidance for outdoor recreation can be found here. More guidance for personal recreation can be found here.

The department also released updated and expanded guidance for houses of worship, which can be found here.

Information on Safer-at-Home, including sector-specific guidance, can be found here.

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