Dear ATST parents & caregivers,
First and foremost, we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. We have received questions from the community about if and how COVID-19 will change this summer’s swim season. Coaches and the ATST Board have been working with community leaders and stakeholders to find pool space and continue on with a bit of training.
We know this outbreak has been stressful to many and recognize that exercising and participating in activities like sports can be a healthy way to cope with stress and connect with our community. Additionally, we know that safe, socially distanced training and connection with swimmer’s teammates is beneficial to their immune systems. Furthermore, the science tells us that chlorine inactivates coronaviruses.
After careful thought, planning and consultation with the Department of Public Health, we are excited to let you know that we plan to resume training, while following CDC considerations to protect swimmers, families, and our community.
The health and safety of our athletes, staff, and volunteers remain our highest priority. Below, you will find a summary of actions we are taking to help ensure we are lowering COVID-19 risk as much as possible while also allowing our athletes to train. We are:
· Intensifying cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation within our facilities and premises: such as cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces on the bleachers, pool decks, hand washing stations in between and during practices. No shared objects such as kick boards, goggles, pull buoys will be allowed. We will ensure safe and correct use and storage of disinfectants. All doors into and out of the facilities will be disinfected periodically and between practice groups.
· Reducing physical closeness or contact between swimmers such that child will be starting at opposite ends of the pool. There will be a limit of two swimmers per lane. We will ask parents not to come into the building. We will ask parents to stagger the drop off entrance and exit to maintain social distancing. We ask parents not to carpool with other families. There will be signage at all entrances and exits to educate children about social distancing and handwashing. Swimmers will have to ensure that coaches and swimmers stay 6 feet apart, discouraging unnecessary physical contact, such as high-fives, handshakes, fist bumps, and hugs.
· Postponing travel outside of our community: We ask that you notify us if you do travel outside the greater Western Massachusetts area. We would like to help the Department of Public Health in their tracing efforts if anyone does fall ill in our community.
· Promoting healthy hygiene practices: We will set up hand washing stations on the way into the pool and on the way out, in the form of soap and water or hand sanitizer, we will be encouraging children to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or to use the inside of their elbow, and reminding them to not spit.
· Requesting that coaches wear a cloth face covering during practices.
· Eliminating the sharing of equipment: there will be no sharing of equipment at pool facilities.
· Your swimmer will be temperature tested at the start of every practice by the coach. If a swimmer has a temperature of 100 degrees or above, they will be asked to sit in a designated spot for ten minutes. If their temperature is rechecked and still 100 degrees or above, that swimmer’s parents will be contacted via phone and return home without participating.
Anyone who is sick or has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19— including athletes, family members, coaches, or staff— should not attend practices. Be on the lookout for symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Call your doctor if you think you or a family member is sick.
If someone does get sick during practice, we have plans in place to isolate and transport that person to their home or healthcare facility. If you have a specific question about this plan or COVID-19, please contact Denise Leckenby, 315-378-2855 for more information. You can also find more information about COVID-19 at www.cdc.gov.
We look forward to seeing you.
Thank you and stay safe,
Denise Leckenby, MPH