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USA Swimming COVID Recommendations

TOP TIPS FOR OPENING POOLS SAFELY DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC 

The Aquatics Coalition, comprised of more than 20 water safety organizations and competitive water sports, asks you to prioritize opening swimming pools for purpose-driven, instructional aquatics with a return to water in the earliest possible phase. Instructional aquatics refers to the use of pools for exercise, rehabilitation, athletic training and swim lessons. These activities are vital to the health and well- being of a community and can be performed in a responsible manner that adheres to social distancing guidelines with mitigated interpersonal contact outside of the pool. Detailed plans from participating organizations can be found at www.Aquatics-Coalition.org

Here are some top tips for safer operations in and around aquatic facilities: 

ENTERING AND EXITING FACILITY 

• Swimmers arrive just prior start time (approximately 5-10 minutes) to maximize social distancing 

• Swimmers arrive in swimsuits ready to swim and exit facility immediately upon completion of swimming 

• Confirm contact information of anyone at facility in the event they need to be notified for COVID-19 contact tracing 

• Staff arrive in swimsuit ready for shift and carry minimal personal belongings 

• Staff are temperature scanned before each shift and sent home as necessary per CDC guidelines 

• Staff must answer COVID-19 health questions before each shift and sent home as necessary per CDC guidelines 

• Signage for all non-employees requesting they not enter the facility if answering “Yes” to any COVID-19 health questions 

• Entering and exiting of individuals using social distancing 

• Staff opening entry and exit doors to limit contact of surfaces by swimmers 

• Signage in parking lot outlining entry and exit procedures 

• Instructions for entering and exiting the facility will be posted prior to entry to provide for minimization of contact and traffic. Staff and swimmers will follow all signs and markings for paths to enter and exit the facility 

ENTRANCE AREAS | LOBBY | STAFF AREA | LOCKER ROOMS | CLASSROOMS 

• Professional cleaning of facility with CDC-recommended products and procedures prior to first opening 

• Subsequent cleanings at intervals mandated by local health officials, but not less than prior to first swimmer in the water and after last swimmer departs each day 

• Hand sanitizer and wipes will be provided throughout facility for use by customers and staff. Customers are encouraged to also bring their own hand sanitizers and wipes to use as needed 

• For facilities in which deck showers are available, swimmers and staff should shower before entering the water to remove chemicals that might negate the effectiveness of chlorine 

• Cloth masks are required for staff not in-water 

• Cloth masks used by swimmers when not in water 

• Staff and swimmers to follow directional signage throughout facility to direct traffic flow 

• 6-feet social distancing signage throughout facility 

• All chairs set up at 6-feet social distancing and disinfected before each subsequent use 

• Electronic customer check-in and paperless transactions for customer 

• Remove all shared items such as pens, flyers, toys, business cards, hair dryers (closed), suit dryers (closed) 

• No retail or food sales (remove of all such items) 

• Close locker rooms and if facility has individual changing areas, close every other individual changing area 

• CDC-recommended signage for public spaces placed throughout facility 

• High-touch areas cleaned by staff at high frequency with CDC-approved cleaning products 

• Closing of drinking fountains (if permitted by local law) 

• Opening doors if appropriate to increase outdoor air circulation 

• Close employee staff room or limit number of employees in staff room at one time to maintain social distancing 

POOL 

• All unnecessary toys or pool equipment removed from pool and pool deck 

• Any equipment necessary for use by a swimmer will not be shared (e.g. goggles) 

• Appropriate PPE if facility has in-water instructors (such as “plastic shields” that allow ease of breathing for instructors) 

• Reduce class sizes and limit capacity of in-water swimmers to maintain proper social distancing (add diagrams here) 

• Establish appropriate start and stop points for swimmers to maximize social distancing 

• Proper pool chemistry maintained at all times 

• Facilities that can shift toward more outdoor-like environments should do so (i.e., open all window bays, bubbles, retractable roofs, etc) 

ADDITIONAL GENERAL ITEMS 

• Training staff on COVID-19 protocols prior to reopening 

• Staff working in “pods” with same set of staff working together on shifts to limit exposure between staff 

• Maintaining all required capacity limits in facility as required by local or state law 

• Full facility cleaning following all CDC guidelines after closing and prior to opening the following day 

• Limit one adult present for each minor child (if necessary) 

• Ensure cleaning supplies are stored appropriately and out of reach of children 

• Social media messaging to customers regarding preventing spread of COVID-19 

• Keep a proper record of all employees and customers in facility at any time in the event of a COVID-19 infection 

• During classroom portions of training, such as for lifeguarding or CPR/AED training, if social distancing modifications cannot be maintained due to limited classroom space, reduce the number of participants per instructor accordingly. 

• Ensure adequate training equipment (CPR manikins, AED trainers, rescue tubes, etc.) to reduce the spread of disease for any staff training.