18 & Under World 100s
Florida Swimming
Excellence 100

COVID19 Protocol Update to start 2021-22 Swimming Year

Peter Verhoef

Bolles Swimming COVID Update to Start the 2021-2022 Season;

As with last year, our primary policies and procedures will be dictated by the Bolles School administration based on guidance from Mayo Clinic, CDC, and the Health Department.  For the start of the school year, and thus the start of the 2021-22 swimming year, Bolles has implemented the policies posted online here.  Below is a summary as it relates to policies for Bolles Swimming.

  • Masks will be required indoors at Bolles from August 11 to August 27.  Masks should be worn properly and be well fitting.  In the event of a positive case, if the positive person and others in contact with them are properly wearing a mask, the persons in close contact will be exempt from quarantine.
  • We will not require masks outdoors, if a student-athlete will be spending more than 15 minutes in proximity to others (in the bleachers, parking lot, etc) they are encouraged to wear a mask.
  • Contact Tracing and Quarantine policies will be in place as follows:
    • Individuals with a positive test will quarantine for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.
    • Close contacts are those within 6 feet of a positive individual for more than 15 minutes starting 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms.  Those considered within close contact will quarantine as directed by the school nurse/swim office according to CDC guidelines. 
    • Individuals who have had COVID in the last three months or have been fully vaccinated for two weeks do not need to quarantine after close contact but should be conscientious as they may still carry the virus.
    • If the positive person and others in contact with them are properly wearing a mask, the persons in close contact will be exempt from quarantine.
    • Close contact will be considered in the pool, during dryland, and in the bleachers or team spaces during practices and meets.  It is encouraged where possible to keep a mask on.

For our programming, we will be making the following adjustments:

  • Swimmers should only use lockers rooms/bathrooms for changing, spending less than 15 minutes in the locker room, and keeping a mask on while inside unless showering.  Those not able to comply will lose locker room privileges.
  • Dryland programming will be moved outdoors.  If the dryland or weight room is used, students will be distanced and cycled through the room for a short amount of time.  In any case where students will spend more than 15 minutes indoors masks will be required.  Exercise will be adjusted to make this safe for all.
  • Lane assignments and use of both ends of the pool for starting practice will be organized by coaches as necessary and based on the practice group’s size and ability.
  • Students will be encouraged to maintain exceptional personal hygiene including hand washing, not spitting, or coughing, and staying home from practice if not feeling well.  Individuals displaying symptoms of illness will be removed from the practice environment and asked to stay away until healthy.
  • Parents may observe practice from the elevated bleachers on the Tarver pool or from sidewalk adjacent to the Uible pool.  Parents may enter the swim office while using the same guidelines.  Spectators for competitions will be announced as they approach.

Note from coach Peter:

While these protocols are not what we envisioned starting the year with, what has changed is our focus on continuing to provide programming even with cases of the virus present in our community.  If there are healthy coaches and healthy student-athletes, we will hold our practices and competitions with safety protocols in place to minimize the risk of transmission. 

For us to keep the most possible swimmers and coaches on a healthy trajectory towards their goals, we need to work together to create scenarios where we do not transmit COVID19 among the team and put others in a situation to be quarantined away from school and the pool.  This starts with taking care of ourselves – sleep, healthy hygiene habits, and staying home when we feel ill are the first steps.  Consciously masking, being aware of our spaces, and being respectful of others space is the second step.  For young athletes this can be a challenge and we trust parents to help us in the best way they can.

We realize with each step of this pandemic that there is risk associated with any activity.  We understand that different families have different levels or risk they are willing to accept. We will continue to provide protocols for programming in a way that are sustainable and productive for those present.  If you are uncomfortable with the risks present, please let your coach know and we will work with you or coordinate a time to return to the pool when the situations match your risk tolerance.

We look forward to a great year at Bolles.  Thank you for your support and contributions to our TEAM.