18 & Under World 100s
Pacific Swimming
Level 1

Click here for the PDF of the letter.

July 14, 2020

Office of the Governor                                                                                  

State Capitol Building

101 N. Carson Street

Carson City, NV 89701

Re: Request to keep pools open for organized swim team practice

Dear Governor Sisolak,

In your press conference on Thursday, July 9 you mentioned pools were a cause of concern in regards to the potential spread of COVID-19. Hopefully pools heed your warning to remain open, and we respectfully ask that the nationally recognized protocols used by USA Swimming and US Masters swim teams be considered as fundamentally different than the recreational nature of hotel/casino pools and water parks.

If pools across Nevada must be reclosed in the future, we ask that community pools remain open for structured and supervised uses like ours. Facilities across Nevada used by swim teams have been going above and beyond state and local requirements to keep everyone safe.

We know you are faced with very tough decisions while managing the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to assure you that swim teams have been safely conducting organized swim practices since pools were allowed to reopen in Phase 2. Our practices are structured and supervised in order to make safety the top priority through consistent adherence to your guidelines.

Swim teams across Nevada have been working with local jurisdictions to be sure our swimmers, coaches, and parents are going above and beyond the requirements to do our best to keep everyone safe. Each facility is unique, but here are some examples of what swim teams are doing:

- Masks are required when swimmers enter/exit the facility. Swimmers must keep mask on until right before their practice begins and must put their mask on immediately when they get out of the pool.

- Coaches must wear masks at all times.

- Strict social distancing is required while at the facility.

- Greatly reduced number of swimmers per lane. Before the pandemic, it would be common for swim teams to have 9+ swimmers in a single lane. Now many teams are operating with a maximum of 3 swimmers per lane in order to adhere to social distancing protocols.

- Extremely limited locker room access. Swimmers arrive and depart the pool in their swimsuits.

- Meticulous daily attendance is taken. In case someone does get sick the attendance records can assist with contact tracing.

- Many facilities are operating below 50% capacity. A specific example is Idlewild Pool in Reno. 50% capacity is 300 people, but currently the facility is only allowing swim teams to have 50 people in order to ensure social distancing happens.

- Teams are communicating to families the importance of self-monitoring symptoms and never attending if feeling ill.

- Facilities are conducting symptom and temperature checks upon arrival.

More than 25 non-profit youth, adult, and university swim teams and over 2,000 families across Nevada use pools for organized swim practice. If pools were to close again, we greatly worry about the effect it would have on our swimmers’ mental health and well-being. The initial shutdown was very challenging for our swimmers, and we fear another shutdown would cause even more damage to the swimmers’ mental, physical, emotional and social health.

In summary, in the unfortunate event pools had to close, please consider keeping community pools open for structured uses such as swim practices. Swim teams are going above and beyond to keep everyone safe, and we are different than hotel/casino pools and waterparks.

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact Ryan Evans (775 287-6883 and/or evansrenoac@gmail.com).

Sincerely,

 

Bob Hommel

Head Coach

BlueFin Aquatics

Henderson

 

Kat Matheson

Head Coach

Douglas Dolfins Swim Team

Minden/Gardnerville

 

Bree O’Neill

Head Coach

Fallon Barracuda Swim Team

Fallon

Sharon Weiss

Head Coach

Lakeridge Swim Team

Reno

 

Victor Hecker

Head Coach

Las Vegas Masters

Las Vegas

 

Erik Scalise

Head Coach

Northern Nevada Aquatics

Reno/Incline Village/Winnemucca

 

Christine Aramini

President

Reno Aquatic Club

Reno

 

Dave Hoover

Head Coach

Reno High School

Reno

 

Steve Lintz

Head Coach

Sierra Nevada Masters

Reno/Incline Village

 

Mike Richmond

Head Coach

Sparks Piranhas Swim Team

Sparks

 

Brendon Bray

Head Coach

University of Nevada

Reno

 

 

 

 

Michial Polk

Head Coach and President

Boulder City Henderson Swim Team

Boulder City

 

Erica Phelps

Head Coach

Elko Swim Team

Elko

 

Devonee McCary

Head Coach

Henderson Aquatics

Henderson

Karin Wegner

Club Manager

Las Vegas Masters

Las Vegas

 

Peter Mavro

Head Coach

Las Vegas Swim Club

Las Vegas

 

Jim Morefield

Chair

Pacific Swimming Zone 4

Minden

 

Ryan Evans

Head Coach

Reno Aquatic Club

Reno

 

Ron Aitken

Head Coach

Sandpipers of Nevada

Las Vegas


John Pettibone

President

Sierra Nevada Masters

Reno/Incline Village

 

Lorena Diaconescu

Head Coach

Team Rebel Aquatics

Las Vegas