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PNS General Chair - Status of State Imposed Limitations

Pacific Northwest Swimming

Implementation of the Nov. 15, 2020 Washington Stay Safe Regulations

The increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections nationwide has resulted in a variety of regulations from states and LSC’s.  Fortunately, the PNS request to keep pools open and allow swim practices was approved by the Washington State Department of Health.

The goal of PNS continues to be to protect the swimmers and others involved with swimming and to minimize the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.  To keep pools open, on-going requirements should always be strictly followed by everyone.  Wear a mask, maintain physical distance, stay home when sick, wash hands, avoid social gatherings and never exceed the maximum occupancy limits.

Team Practices

The state limitations on team practices continue as previously published without revision.  “More than two swimmers per lane, but no more than 4, are permitted for competitive swim team practices if supervised by a certified coach meeting the requirement of WAC 246-260-99901 and the team’s COVID-19 safety and response plan includes a diagram of safe lane.”

The current requirements for PPE, sanitization, social distancing, and capacity limits continue as previously implemented: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/ReopeningWaterRecreationFacilitiesCOVID19.pdf.  

Team practices are also constrained by the regulations for youth sporting activities: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19%20Phase%202%20and%203%20Sporting%20Activities%20Guidance.pdf

In particular, “…Non-school sporting activities, youth and adult low and moderate risk sports are now allowed intra-team competitions. No practice, training or competitions with other teams allowed (emphasis added).

Competitions

PNS will support spirit of the Nov. 15 Executive Order and will continue efforts that assist in controlling the recent exponential surge in cases of infection and resultant hospitalizations.  Consequently, PNS has suspended all sanctioned meets for the duration of the Governor’s Executive Order (currently Dec. 14, 2020). 

Competitions are also limited by the current restrictions on youth sport activities:  https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/COVID%2019%20November%20Statewide%20Restrictions.pdf

Most LSC’s are closing competitions to entries from outside the host LSC as had been the case during the summer.  In addition, Washington has a Travel Advisory that states:  “Washingtonians are encouraged to stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries and further “Persons arriving in Washington from other states or countries, including returning Washington residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.”

One Midwest LSC had a single club that violated its state policy to travel to the US Open competition in another state.  Consequently, ALL youth sports in the state are now shut down and additional restrictions are being imposed on swimming as this is being written.  LSC and USAS penalties are under consideration for several recent activities.

Conclusion

During the Thursday (Nov. 19) meeting, USA Swimming emphasized that USAS in no way endorses conducting practice or competition in violation of any local, state, or federal guidelines.  All competition must conform to local, state, and federal public health guidelines.

Insurance provided via USAS membership is contingent on satisfying the requirements imposed by the providing company:

There are two key requirements that insurers will seek in order for insurance to apply:

  • Compliance with the most stringent and enforceable re-opening guidelines of your jurisdiction (i.e.: social gathering criteria) and;
  • Continued compliance with USA Swimming guidelines such as coaching certification, safe sport provisions and virtual dryland practice guidelines.

Wear a mask, maintain physical distance, stay home when sick, wash hands, avoid social gatherings and never exceed the maximum occupancy limits.

The PNS Executive Committee will meet again in early December in anticipation of any changes in the regulations at the scheduled December 14 expiration.