Section 1 Introduction


The Burlington Masters Swim Club Incorporated (BMSC) is committed to ensuring a safe and healthy return to the pool. Our resumption of competitive swimming will be a complex process, with a priority on keeping our members and community safe from COVID-19.


Revision A incorporates the policies and procedures outlined by provincial and municipal governments and public health agencies will be adhered to when returning to the pool as of November 30, 2021.


BMSC’s Return to Swim Plan follows guidelines and best practices set out in Swimming Canada’s Return to Swimming Resource Document, Swim Ontario’s Preparing for a Safe Return to Operations, and in cooperation with the City of Burlington Municipal Guidelines.


BMSC’s Return to Sport (COVID-19) committee is currently comprised of the club’s board members.


The situation and information around COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly. This document serves to provide information and guidance to our members, coaches, and the City of Burlington community on best practices based on current information as of November 30, 2021. We will monitor the latest developments surrounding COVID-19 and take appropriate measures.

Section 2 Background


The Burlington Master’s Swim Club resumed the indoor 2021-2022 session on September 13th, 2021. As such, the club has revised its Return to Swimming plan contained herein.


Section 3 Return to Swimming Committee


BMSC’s Return to Swimming Committee comprises the following Members:


  • Julie Martens - President

  • Lisa Crosby - Treasurer

  • Earl Weise - Secretary

  • Sue McParlan - Registrar

  • John Arbon - Officer


Section 4 Assessment of Risk

In assessing the COVID-19 related risks associated with the club’s return to swimming the following was considered:


  • We are not in a high risk region: The number of COVID-19 cases in the City of Burlington (population 205,960) has been relatively stable and is expected to remain so with the proof of vaccination policies in place in Ontario .

  • We will be sharing pool facilities: Swim practices are being held at the Centennial and Angela Coughlan pools. The pools are available to other aquatic clubs and other residents of Burlington for aquatic activities. However, during BMSC practices the pools will be used exclusively by the club.

  • New members may pose a higher risk: The club’s membership is largely returning members that reside in Burlington or other municipalities in Halton. New members to the club may have recently relocated to Burlington, potentially from areas with high community spread.

  • Many of our members may be at higher risk: Usually 20% of the club’s membership is aged 60 or older. The club may have other members with higher than average risk of severe COVID-19 disease due to underlying conditions.

  • Social distancing can be maintained: With appropriate procedures, physical distancing can be maintained during practice. There is no requirement for contact with other members. Members have their own swim equipment so sharing can be eliminated.

  • Everyone who enters the swimming pool buildings must be fully vaccinated: The City of Burlington has hired Security Guards to check the vaccination documents and photo ID of everyone entering the pool. Without these documents there will be no entry.


Section 5 Program Registration Requirements


The BMSC registration process will be modified to reflect the COVID-19 safety requirements with the addition of the three steps outlined below:


  1. All members and coaches will be asked to assess their own personal risk of severe COVID-19 illness. The club will provide links to the following resources as a starting point for research:



The club will recommend that members and coaches at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 review their specific health concerns with their primary care provider prior to attending training sessions.


  1. Before attending the first swim practice, of each designated swim session, all swimmers and coaches will be required to complete and submit to the Registrar, the following:

  • The electronic Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risk form

  • The requirements for Rowan’s Law


In addition, coaches will provide

  • An Offence Declaration


The Registrar will ensure collection of executed individual Acknowledgement of Risk forms and COVID-19 Attestation forms and the President will submit a Club Declaration Online Form prior to the start of the first club practice.


  1. Coaches will take attendance at swim practices. The attendance lists will be maintained on the BMSC website for potential contact tracing activity.


  1. At Swim Ontario’s request, attendance and screening documents will be securely stored together for a period of 10 years.


Section 6 Health Monitoring Procedures

6.1 Pre-Training

Prior to the start of the season, the return-to-swimming plan was shared with all registered swimmers and coaches and an updated version will be shared in December, 2021 on the BMSC website. As part of this communication swimmers/coaches have been advised that they cannot attend practice if they or anyone in their household have:


  • Experienced symptoms or signs of COVID-19, even if mild (including fever, sore throat, dry cough, fatigue, chills and body aches, shortness of breath, diarrhea, pink eye, or loss of smell or taste)

  • A confirmed case of COVID-19, or are waiting to hear the results of a lab test for COVID-19

  • Had close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days

  • Been told by public health that they may have been exposed and need to quarantine or travelled outside of Canada


In addition, swimmers will be provided with a checklist with the above questions and will be verbally asked these questions by the coach prior to being allowed access to the pool. If a swimmer does not answer “No” to all questions the swimmer will not be allowed to swim.


6.2 During Training

If coaches or swimmers feel unwell or show signs of COVID-19 during training sessions the following steps should be taken:

  • the individual must be removed from the training group immediately and sent home.

  • at home, the individual should complete the Individual Self-Assessment Tool.

  • the individual must contact their physician to consider the appropriateness of further investigations. Further investigations may include a test for COVID-19.

  • If home isolation is required, guidelines have been provided below.


6.2.1 Home Isolation Recommendations

If a swimmer begins to exhibit symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or have been asked to isolate at home:


  • Remain at home except to get urgent medical care.

  • Do not go to work, school, pool or other public places.

  • Cancel non-urgent appointments.

  • Do not use public transport.

  • Notify your doctor or local health department by phone, as testing may be required.

  • Monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention if you are having difficulty breathing, are unable to drink fluids, or if your illness is significantly worsening.

  • Wear a face mass when around others, particularly when physical distancing cannot be


  • Separate from household members, at least 3 meters at all times.

  • Do not have visitors.

  • Stay in a well-ventilated room (open windows) and use your own bathroom if possible.

  • Sanitize common-use surfaces frequently.

  • If close contacts are vulnerable in terms of their health, consider alternative


  • Avoid sharing household items.

  • Maintain excellent hand hygiene.

  • Follow any other local health regulations


6.3 Protocol for a Positive Covid-19 Test

If any swimmer or coach test positive for COVID-19, the following steps will be taken:


  • The athlete/coach is removed from the training group immediately.

  • Inform the BMSC Board so that the case can be tracked in the Return to Sport (COVID-19) log.

  • Team training will be suspended and all group members (A or B as applicable) are placed in self-isolation, until told by the local public health authority that it is safe to return to training.

  • The local public health authority must be notified and will determine any requirements related to facility and/or group operations, as well as any requirements around contact tracing as it relates to managing the spread of the virus.

  • Any further team members who develop symptoms will be referred to the appropriate public health authority or help-line for guidance on testing and appropriate management.

  • Team training could resume if:

    • All team members undergo self-isolation for a period defined by Provincial and City of Burlington Guide Lines and no participating member has developed symptoms.

    • All team members are cleared to return to group training by a Public Health Official in accordance with Provincial guidelines.

  • Swim Ontario will be notified of any COVID-19 positive test of any participant (swimmer or coach) by completing the Incident/Injury Report Online Form. Requested information will include:

    • Gender

    • Age

    • Recent Training Activity (14 days)


Section 7 Setting Up a Safe Training Environment

7.1 Physical Distancing


Physical distancing has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. To ensure that swimmers and coaches minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, the Physical Distancing Guidelines outlined below will be adhered to:

  • Avoid being exposed to COVID-19 by physical distancing (minimum 3 meters).

  • Keep a safe distance at all times. This is critical as COVID-19 can be spread prior to symptom onset.

  • Athletes and staff must respect physical distancing during all aspects of training.

  • Follow all City of Burlington Physical Distancing guidelines. This may include facility access with one entry point and a separate exit point and keeping a physical distance of at least 3 meters.

  • Follow any signage that directs swimmers and coaches to enter one at a time.

  • Follow any floor markings to guide swimmers and coaches through the facility.

  • Do not greet with handshakes, hugging, high fives, etc...

  • Coaches and staff must maintain appropriate distance from each other and facility staff members throughout the entire duration of time spent in the facility.


7.2 Arrival at the Pool

  • Swimmers and coaches will wear masks until they are about to enter the pool and after a practice while exiting the pool

  • Swimmers must show proof of full vaccination and Photo Identification to the Security Guard at the pool entrance.

  • Only swimmers and required staff should enter the facility.

  • Athletes should maintain good pool hygiene and should shower at home before swimming to minimize the need to use change rooms.

  • Swimmers should arrive at the facility in their bathing suit in order to minimize the use of change rooms.

  • If a change room is required it will be used in accordance with City of Burlington guidelines which will limit capacity of the rooms in order to ensure social distancing.

  • The City of Burlington Aquatic Staff have outlined the dedicated entry way to/exit from the pool to limit interaction with other facility users.

  • City of Burlington Aquatic Staff will assist in guiding the swimmers to the correct areas.

  • Personal items and clothing brought in by athletes and coaches should be kept to a minimum.


7.3 Training

To maintain physical distancing of 3 meters during lane swimming, the number of swimmers per lane will be in accordance with Swimming Canada’s Return to Swimming Resource Version 2.

  • On September 13th, BMSC will allow 5 swimmers per lane.

  • Lanes will swim in alternating clockwise and counter-clockwise formations. This will help avoid dangerous arm contact across the lane ropes.

  • Members can start from each end of the pool (shallow and deep end) and maintain spacing between members.

  • Athletes will only participate in one training group and should not move between multiple

  • training groups.

  • Swimmers will maintain appropriate distance from each other at all times while in the pool.

  • Yelling and singing will not be permitted during the training session.

  • Swimmers must remain quiet during the instructional time so that coaches do not need to raise their voice.

  • Athletes must act responsibly and promote appropriate behavior with their peers.

  • In a situation where it may be difficult to maintain physical distance, coaches and athletes should wear a face mask. Members are required to bring their own masks.

  • Athletes are not permitted to share any training equipment.

  • There is no sharing of water bottles.

  • Snorkels and starting blocks can now be used.

  • There will be ZERO TOLERANCE for anyone who fails to follow these guidelines.


7.4 Departure from the Pool

  • All swimmers should leave the facility as quickly as possible following the conclusion of the training session.

  • Swimmers should put on a face mask as soon as possible upon exiting the pool.

  • Athletes are not to leave equipment or mesh bags at the facility after training. All equipment needs to be brought home and thoroughly cleaned after each training session.

  • Change rooms will be used in accordance with City of Burlington guidelines which will limit capacity of the rooms in order to ensure social distancing.

  • Once all swimmers have left the facility, all staff should leave the facility as quickly as possible.

7.5 Coach Requirements

Coaches must familiarize themselves with the COVID-19 facility specific procedures and guidelines as well as the latest guidelines and directives on the COVID-19 outbreak from Federal, Provincial, Municipal governments and their Public Health authorities. (Covid-19 Symptoms)


Coaches will follow the best practices outlined by the Government of Canada (Prevention of Risk) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.


These best practices will include:

  • coaches will wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment at all times. In most cases this will minimally mean wearing a non-medical mask and/or face shield.

  • coaches must use respiratory etiquette (sneezing in elbow), hand hygiene, physical distancing, cleaning of non-personal equipment in between use, non-sharing of handheld equipment such as stopwatches, clipboards, white board markers, etc.

  • coaches must keep a detailed attendance record.

  • coaches will confirm if members have any changed attestation conditions.

  • coaches must ensure they maintain appropriate distance from lifeguards and swimmers.

  • coaches must ensure swimmers are following all Return to Swim Guidelines.

  • workout presentations should ensure distancing between members when using shared whiteboards or surfaces.

  • If more than one coach is on deck they must maintain a physical distance of 3m, and/or wear a mask.

  • coaches will consider physical distancing when planning practices and while communicating with swimmers.

  • coaches will evaluate the effectiveness of the Return to Training Plan daily and communicate any shortcomings to the BMSC Board.


7.6 Training Schedule


The training schedule is as presented below. All practices will be coached by Lee Hart.






Monday, Wednesday, Thursday

8:00PM – 10:00PM




8:00PM – 10:00PM


Angela Coughlan Pool


9:30PM – 11:30AM




Section 8 Disciplinary Action


If any swimmer fails to comply with any of the requirements described above, it will be grounds for corrective action up to and including removal from the session or removal from the program itself.


Section 9 Swimmer Education

Prior to Resuming Training an email will be sent by the Registrar to all current BMSC members. This information email will include:

    • a copy of BMSC’s Return to Swim Plan.

    • the group A and B specific hours.

    • registration process (including links to required forms).

    • arrival/departure & organization information for each pool location.

    • health monitoring process/questions including reporting requirements.

    • implications of not following rules (disciplinary actions).