May 20, 2020
I have an update from the City and County regarding swimming pools.
I am hearing from multiple sources, including pool managers, that all City pools will open for lap swim starting on June 1st. As of right now, I’m not sure what the hours will be, if reservations will be required, etc. Unfortunately, swim teams will not be allowed on June 1st (and possibly not until August).
Fairly soon, I will be posting resources for each group to use go do workouts during lap swim. Each group will have either 1-4 practices a week posted online based on ability. These are only resources and each swimmer can use as they see fit. I think it’s very important that each swimmer goes down and swims during lap swim time to help show the demand for the pool to expedite re-opening to teams. The more demand for the pool, the quicker it can be re-opened for Aulea.
Beginning in early June, we will begin open water practices for all groups. We have already run some test practices for Junior, Senior and Senior Elite and they went really well. I will have more details soon and we will obviously need parent supervision for the younger/less experienced groups. I think this is a great time to teach life skills and one of my personal goals would be to see all the bronze kids (that are interested) learn to swim to flat island! Other groups will have challenges in line with their ability level. The kids have done a great job with social distancing, etc.
I continue to urge you to speak up for swim teams to operate safely. At the end of my message I have provided a great sample email from one of our team parents that was just sent out, feel free to tailor yours as needed.
﻿Mr. Mayor, COVID-19 Response Team,
Thank you again for considering my request last week to open public pools for USA Swimming registered club teams to recommence swim practice. I was reviewing the most recent Emergency Order, No. 2020-12, specifically sub paragraph 9 of exhibit A, that deals with the opening of sports fields and courts. A club swim team who follows the recommended COVID-19 mitigation guidance that USA Swimming has provided to all of their registered clubs (attached for review) can reasonably meet all of the requirements of the sub paragraph 9 statute referenced above with the exception of the 10 person group limit. I would request consideration of an exemption to this portion of the sub paragraph for USA Swimming registered club teams conducting organized swim practices based on the following mitigation.
1. 6 ft social distancing is met with the guidance on swimmers to lane ratios provided by USA Swimming.
2. The total number of swimmers and coaches would be based on the size of the pool. Ex. - Aulea Swim Club in Kailua practices in a 21 lane pool, 50 m x 25 yds (12,000+ Sq ft of pool surface area, in addition to the deck space around the pool). This is enough space to have 63 swimmers and applicable coaches and maintain social distancing requirements following USA Swimming recommended guidance.
3. Competitive swimming is an individual sport similar to tennis and golf. It inherently lends itself to minimal interaction with others.
4. Pools are full of chlorine which has been proven to rapidly kill the coronavirus.
Based on the above mitigation and the fact that all additional elements of Emergency Order No. 2020-12, Exhibit A, sub paragraph 9 could be met, I request that Honolulu City & County public pools be re-opened for the purpose of organized swim practice of USA Swimming registered clubs.
Thank you again for your time and consideration of this request.