Pool reopens after mumps caused shutdown
NEW PALTZ >> The pool in the Elting Gym at SUNY New Paltz has reopened to the public after being closed for two days due to eight mumps cases among members of the school’s intercollegiate swimming program.
The mumps cases were confirmed by the Student Health Service, according to a letter to users of the school’s athletic facilities and a college spokeswoman.
The Student Health Service reported five cases of mumps on campus as of last Wednesday, though college spokeswoman Melissa Kaczmarek said Tuesday that the total was eight.
The pool was shut down last Wednesday and reopened to the public Friday, though Kaczmarek said members of the swim team still are barred from using it.
“It has also been brought to our attention that these cases have come from our intercollegiate swimming program,” stated a letter from the Student Health Service to users of the facility.
“Out of an abundance of caution,” the letter states, “all swim practices and workouts are suspended ... to allow for time to see if there are any more confirmed cases from other members of the program.”
The letter stated that, according the state Department of Health, “we do not need to close the pool indefinitely and there is minimal risk of transmission. But we have disallowed any current members of the swimming program to serve as lifeguards, participate in general aquatics programming or interface with any of the contracted groups for the time being.”
SUNY New Paltz students are required to provide documentation of two measles, one rubella and one mumps immunization, or provide documentation of a religious or other exemption.
Mumps is a respiratory virus, the symptoms of which “include painful swelling of the salivary glands near the ears and under the jaw, which can occur on one or both sides of the face,” the letter states. “This swelling may be associated with other nonspecific symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and decreased appetite.”
The affected students were isolated, and some who had not been immunized against mumps were sent home, according to the letter.