American Pool Long Island COVID-19 Updates

American Pool Client Plan for Operations During COVID-19

American Pool continues to monitor coronavirus (COVID-19) developments with regard to swimming pool operations. While local authorities will provide ultimate direction as to what additional precautions will be required and when opening for use will be permitted, we can use the information that is available today to prepare for that eventuality.

On May 9, the CDC produced considerations for Public Pools, Hot Tubs, and Water Playgrounds During COVID-19. A review of this document as well as other industry materials has provided enough guidance for us to prepare an initial plan for opening swimming pools for bathers this season. This foundational plan will allow us to respond more quickly to our clients once local health authorities provide more specific requirements.

Once local requirements are published, they will be reviewed by our team and your Regional Manager will be in touch to plan the details of reopening with you and defining a realistic target open date. Download our American Pool Client Plan for Operations During COVID-19 for a full breakdown of the operation requirements.

American Pool PPE Kit for Swimming Pool Operations

The swimming pool is no different than the other service areas that must adapt to enhance patron and worker safety. Every operating swimming pool must be equipped with additional CDC recommended Personal Protective Equipment to protect staff and patrons. We are in the process of assembling a kit that will include the materials to provide additional barriers from pathogens in the event of an emergency.

There are patterns of COVID-19 guidance emerging among states that lift restrictions on pool use. We will be marking off guard stations with non-skid tape to support their 6’ physical distance from patrons; a practice we have seen in some states already. It is possible that the local health authority requires additional materials for opening, but we expect these items to be necessary regardless and there won’t be time to procure them at a later date.

Finally, we would like to confirm that your facility is using an indemnity waiver, inclusive of COVID-19 risks, and request that we are added to that waiver as CONTRACTOR. Please contact us if you have any questions about this provision.

  1. PPE Kit – $147.99 (Single Guard Facility)*
    • 2 Bag Valve Masks (1 Adult and 1 Infant)
    • 1 Disposable Gown
    • 1 Face Shield
    • 1 Protective Goggles
    • 1 Viral Filter for CPR Masks and BVMs
    • *Multi Guard Facilities Will Need 2 Kits
  2. Installation of a Temporary Social Distance Perimeter – $20 per Station
    • A temporary perimeter around all AP employee stations (lifeguard chair, lifeguard table, pass checker station, etc).

We anticipate longer than normal turnaround time in the procurement of PPE, so we appreciate the approval of these critical items as soon as possible. Please email to place your order and ask any questions you may have.

The Opening of Swimming Pools in Suffolk County, NY

On June 4, Suffolk County, NY advised that municipally and privately owned outdoor public swimming pools (hotel, HOA, and similar) may open for use to patrons. Indoor pools must remain closed. Along with the lifting of these restrictions come additional requirements to reduce the risk of spreading the virus within the pool facilities. We share your excitement in getting pools open to swimmers, but it is important to recognize the short term challenges and make sure that requirements have been satisfied in a plan moving forward to a targeted opening date. While the county advises that facilities may open as of June 4, this is not a realistic goal given the additional requirements for compliant operation. We have set July 3 as the realistic target date for an opening of pools to patrons and will endeavor to open sooner if possible. Properties that have not permitted us to commence summerization may open after July 3 as preseason procedures have been forestalled to date.

We are here to help you navigate these new challenges and provide consultation on owner related items. Suffolk County, NY, in accordance with the CDC Guidelines, is requiring a number of operational changes for this season and they all must be addressed before the pool can be opened safely for use. A copy of the CDC requirements, which have been adopted in the counties we serve, can be found HERE for your review. Specific county-related documentation for Suffolk County may be found HERE.

Following our assessment of the Suffolk County guidelines, we wanted to communicate our organization’s approach to the changes. This is also an opportunity to update our clients on some important items requiring your attention to achieve our July 3 target opening date.

Lifeguards & Training

  1. Our lifeguard candidates have been performing the classroom portion of training online, but without access to pools, the candidates have yet to take the in-water training sections.
  2. All guards, including those already certified, will need to receive some degree of COVID-19 specific training to address changes to rescue skills, PPE requirements, and changes to the emergency action plan.
  3. Class size is limited to just 9 students, greatly reducing class capacity and expanding the overall training timeline. We anticipate the resumption of in-person lifeguard training on June 13.
  4. We are assembling a COVID-19 response kit that will include additional PPE for the lifeguard staff that is now required. You have already received our communication about these materials and we are ready to provide them pending your approval.

Pool Permits & Regulations

  1. Please be advised that for any public swimming pool to open for use, you must have received the permit to operate for 2020.
  2. All operational requirements of Title 10, SubPart 6.1- Swimming Pools remain in effect.
  3. The requirement for available restroom facilities at the pool also remains in effect.

Facility Sanitation & Disinfection

  1. CDC has established that frequently touched surfaces must be cleaned at least once per day and that shared items must be cleaned after each use. In order to support our clients, AP is willing to wipe down frequently touched surfaces specific to the pool such as handrails, ladders, and gate handles. In order to facilitate this, our lifeguards will be instructed to close the pool for a 15-minute safety break on the hour to complete these tasks. During this period, they will also test and adjust the chemical levels as they normally would every hour.
  2. Owner will supply any additional cleaning products deemed necessary in accordance with state and CDC guidelines.
  3. Owner will be responsible for bathroom cleaning and furniture sanitation.
  4. At this time, we suggest our clients consider not staging any deck furniture except what the lifeguard will be using. If you do plan on putting out furniture, it is with the understanding that the sanitizing responsibility remains with the property owner. As an example of a “shared object”, per CDC, furniture should be cleaned between each use. Clients proceeding with staging furniture must remain aware that the placement of deck furniture must remain compliant with established social distancing guidelines.

Social Distancing & Capacity
We have a number of suggestions, however, what is best for each community will be different.

  1. As per CDC guidelines: “Ensuring that lifeguards who are actively lifeguarding are not also expected to monitor handwashing, use of cloth face coverings, or the social distancing of others. Assign this monitoring responsibility to another staff member”.
  2. In support of CDC guidance to ensure that staff, patrons, and swimmers stay at least 6 feet apart from those they do not live with, both in and out of the water, we suggest that a reduced capacity be established by the property. The property must advise the method of managing and logging entry. Together, we need to determine how the tracking requirement will be met before the pool can be opened to swimmers.
  3. All guarded facilities must have a capacity plan that does not require the guard as the active enforcer of the established policy.
  4. Pool parties and special events must be conducted outside of operating hours and in compliance with social distancing limits.
  5. Properties will be required to provide queue markers for heavy traffic areas where applicable, including the entry gate, water fountains, and diving boards.
  6. We advise eliminating guest passes for this season to maximize availability for your existing residents/members.

As partners in this considerable and unprecedented challenge, we will need to work together in the coming days to finalize the full plan for the 2020 season. Our goal is to ensure the safest possible environment for both the patrons and our employees while still providing an enjoyable pool experience.

American Pool Client Solutions for Swimming Pool Reservations

Most pools will be operating at reduced capacity to support social distance this season and one of the best ways to manage attendance is through reservations, which is why we have partnered with Omnify to bring our clients exceptional value and ease of use through their Reservation System.

As an American Pool client, your community will experience the following advantages when you select Omnify as your Pool Reservation Solution!

  • Preferred Pricing with Onboarding and Setup Assistance for your property at no additional charge!
  • Priority Status for Service by a dedicated Omnify professional.

CLICK HERE to learn more!