May 16 email to owners

Terence Bevier (President)

Hello KSTC,

How do you social distance a social club?

The board met Thursday night and discussed the issues associated with the opening of the club.   As you are probably aware, the state of Washington has a 4 phase plan for gradually lifting the stay-at-home order and re-opening businesses ( link).  Washington state is currently in Phase 1.  Each phase will last a minimum of 3 weeks.  Phase transitions will be based on an evaluation of Coronavirus health data metrics.   There is no guaranteed time frame for the phase transitions.  Phase 3 allows for groups of less than 50, while Phase 4 allows for groups of 250.  The Department Of Health either has developed or will develop social distancing regulations for each re-opened business type (restaurants, salons, gyms, …).  Regulations do not yet exist for our type of facility.

Our number 1 requirement for opening is staff safety.  We will not compromise on this.  How do we keep our guards appropriately distanced when they are required to do saves, CPR, minor first aid, etc.?  The United States Lifeguarding Association recommends that lifeguarding practices include the use of gloves, N95 masks, and eye protection (as part of their Universal protection concept) to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission.  KSTC will follow these guidelines.

Every lifeguard function will have to be re-evaluated, fully documented, and taught to our employees.   There will be staffing challenges; there were no lifeguard certification classes this spring, which is when most of our brand new guards (first time employees) get their training.  Will the parents of our teenage employees allow them to work?

The clubs daily operation would change significantly.  Limiting groups to less than 50 means that we would have to adopt some sort of a shift scheme (e.g. sign up for a 2 hour block).   We would have limited tables, no BBQs, and the play structure would be closed.   Some sort of swimming pool social distancing scheme would have to be developed; one that works for our younger children.  Swim toys would not be allowed.

As Department Of Health regulations are not yet available for clubs like ours, we made reasonable interpretations/assumptions based on existing regulations for spa type facilities.  We will have to enforce social distancing for our owners.  We might be required to take your temperature upon entering the club.  We will have to adjust the clubs layout to facilitate social distancing, markings on the ground, sneeze guards, etc.  The showers will be closed. 

For contact tracing purposes, we will maintain detailed records of who is in the club and when, and be prepared to provide those records to the State upon request.  If someone who is infected with the Coronavirus enters our club, each owner who was in the facility will be notified by the state and advised to self quarantine.  All on duty staff will have to self quarantine and be tested before they can return to work.

There are financial impacts.  Personal Protection Equipment will have to be purchased (including N95 masks), in addition to hand sanitizer, signage, sneeze guards, etc.  There is a reduction in club income due to the cancelling of swim lessons, rentals, and limited guest fees - income sources we count on to balance our budget.  In addition, a number of our owners are experiencing real financial difficulties due to this pandemic and are unable to pay their dues at this time.  We are aware that our owners will end up paying more for less club.

Implementing all of these new social distancing requirements are in addition to the standard things that have to be done to open the club – clean up weekends, staff training, ordering new supplies and equipment, etc.  We know that we have only scratched the surface of what needs to be done to have a safe summer.

This is daunting.   We on the board want you to be aware the issues facing our club.  KSTC is designed to be social.  That is what makes our place special.  But what we are is the opposite of what is needed at this time.

The board believes that we are not able to open in Phase 3.  We are continuing to evaluate Phase 4.  We know this is disappointing.  We all want the club to be open.  But we feel this best serves the health and safety of our staff and our owners.

Note that we are aware that this is a dynamic, constantly changing situation.  We will continue to assess, and re-assess, as the phases and regulations evolve.

You are all owners of KSTC.  Please respond with your thoughts, comments and questions.  We will listen. We ask you to be kind – we are a volunteer board who pays dues just like all of you. We are doing our best in a situation that is simply hard.  We will keep you informed with things as the summer progresses.  Our next board meeting is early June, and will provide you an update shortly after.  We will post this email, and any future updates, to our website (in the “Latest News” section).

Stay Safe.

Your KSTC Board:

Terry Bevier
Debbie Bevier
Stephanie Bolinger
Deb Chaplin
Alison Duxbury-Shadwick
Camilla Fogle
Jennifer Hartvickson
Bill Judd
Amanda Nelson
Kirk Nelson
Jackie Taylor
Emily Udd