This is the first of four articles covering American Pool’s response to COVID-19 reopenings. We encourage you to read our other articles found here:
Summer is in full swing and people are growing increasingly restless as they want to get out and enjoy the great weather. As the temperature rises, most of us are looking forward to reopening our aquatic facilities. That is, with a few adjustments for this year. In every state we operate, there will be some simple precautions to increase the safety of our patrons and staff.
We’re committed to ensuring this year’s pool season is a smooth and safe one. If you feel like there’s too much to do and not enough time to figure it all out, you’re not alone. That’s why we’re publishing a quick series of posts to help you get ready for reopening. All your reopening efforts will fall into one of four categories:
- Cleaning & Disinfection
- Physical Distance
- Protections for Staff
There will be plenty of time to discuss each facet. For now, let’s focus on Prevention.
Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 at Your Pool
Our first weapon in the battle against COVID-19 is information. Earlier this year we received the positive news that well-maintained and treated pool water inactivates SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend wearing a mask while swimming, that doesn’t mean that we’re ready to say goodbye to them. It’s still possible for these pool areas to harbor the coronavirus:
- Pool deck
- Lounge chairs and sitting spaces
- Bathrooms, showers, changing rooms, and other public spaces
- Adjacent pool surfaces, like diving boards and pool ladders
Because of these risks, health departments encourage everyone at your facility to:
- Wash their hands frequently and thoroughly
- Wear masks outside of the pool and in public areas where social distancing is a challenge
- Stay at home when they are sick, or if they have been exposed to the coronavirus within the last 14 days
- Bring as much personal protective equipment (PPE) of their own as possible
Communicating Changes to Your Pool’s Patrons
To reopen your pool, local authorities and health departments will likely have their own specific rules for you and your patrons to follow. But no matter how stern or relaxed the regulations, we’re going to do our part.
At the very least, you should post this educational information on your community website, throughout your facility, and at every entry:
- Facility capacity
- Patron responsibilities
- COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, and sanitation
These CDC-offered materials are helpful reminders for us all and are ready to be posted throughout your facility: