How To Do It: The Steps to Safely Opening Pools As Restrictions Ease

Diving and Swimming
Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross
How can pools open safely as lockdown measures starts to ease? The Pool Management Group, which updates COVID-19-related guidance to pool owners and users on a regular basis, has set out its view of how pools could gradually start to open up again after stay-at-home orders are lifted in the United States.

With permission, we replicate PMG’s guidance on how they see pools opening up safely in a controlled process.

In response to the comments left on this article, here are some further-reading recommendations from Craig Lord:

Commentary by Pool Management Group:

How do you create a safe swim environment with the threat of COVID-19?

  1. Establish a new maximum number of people allowed in the pool facility at one time.
  2. Set up blocks of pool time for people to reserve.
  3. Establish a disinfecting schedule.
  4. Establish a reservation method. 

Introduction

After Stay at Home orders are no longer in place, it’s important that swimming pools open in a safe manner that reduces the spread of COVID-19. The good news is the pool environment lends itself to successfully accomplishing this objective:

  • Social Distancing is easily achieved – With a mix of the strategies such as those provided here, we can all accommodate social distancing around the pool.
  • Chlorine in swimming pools disables coronavirus
  • Outdoor wide-open environment
  • Sunshine kills coronavirus 

DETAILED STRATEGIES FOR SWIMMING POOLS TO OPEN SAFELY

1.     ESTABLISH NEW POOL FACILITY CAPACITY LIMITS TO SUPPORT SOCIAL DISTANCING (Social Distancing Capacity)

Aside from stating that the social distance policy is in effect at the pool, pool owners may want to limit the number of people allowed inside the pool area at any one time. This basically is creating a new ‘Social Distancing Capacity’. Lowering the number of people allowed at the pool will make it possible (and more likely) for people to maintain minimum 6 ft. distancing.

A)  Determining a Social Distancing Capacity

Pools Open Safely

Photo Courtesy: Cathleen Pruden

The goal is to use some method to determine how many people can be at the pool facility and still maintain 6 feet distancing. There may be clear guidelines from your Health Department before opening day. If not, here are some possible methods (there are many possibilities):

*Assumption: Pool users of the same household will come to the pool together and, since they live in the same space, will not be practicing social distancing with each other.

Note: Below are only two examples of methods that could be used to determine a Social Distancing Capacity that would support social distancing happening at a swimming pool. There are many methods that can be used, including general estimations or requirements of your Health Department.

METHOD 1–  Assumes that, for space calculation purposes, there will be one single chair, then 6’ of space in all directions to the next single chair. This calculation results in one person for every 170 square feet of pool deck, assuming that a typical pool chaise is 2.5 ft. x 7 ft.

Measure the useable pool deck (where chairs can be placed) and divide by 170 sq. ft.

If a pool had useable deck space of 4,250 sq. ft., the maximum occupancy would be 25 people (4,250/170).

METHOD 2–  Assumes that, for space calculation purposes, there will be one single chair, then 6’ of space to the next single chair, then 6’ to the next single chair, etc.

Assume chair space is 2.5’. Then, 2.5’ plus 6’ of distancing space equals 8.5’ of deck space.

Next, measure the perimeter of the pool deck  (the linear feet of deck) where chairs can be placed and then divide that number by 8.5 ft.

If a pool had 220 linear feet of deck space for chairs, the maximum occupancy would be 25 people (220/8.5).

Note – there may be room for 2 or more rows of chairs. If two rows of chairs, then the max occupancy would be 25 people in the first row, plus 25 people in the second row = 50 people.

METHOD 3 – Assumes that, for calculation purposes, there will be an average of 2 chairs used per family/household that comes to the pool. This method would provide 6 feet between each group of two chairs.

Linear feet needed for each set of chairs is  (2.5 ft. for chair A + 1 ft. space between chairs + 2.5 ft. for chair B + 6 ft social distance DIVIDED by 2 people).

Using Method B, if a pool had 220 linear feet of deck space for chairs, the maximum occupancy would be 36 people (220/6).

B) Limit How Long Patrons Can Stay at the Pool Each Visit

Limiting how long patrons can stay at the pool increases the total number of people that can use the pool each day. The best way to execute this is to designate blocks of pool time available for people to visit the pool each day. For example, a pool could offer a series of 1.5 or 2 hour blocks of time throughout each day for pool visits. See example below.

EXAMPLE:

The Social Distancing Pool Capacity is 25 people allowed into the pool area during each block of time.  Pool patrons can use the pool during the following hours:

10:00-11:30 AM         25 people
12:00-1:30 PM           25 people
2:00-3:30 PM             25 people
4:00-5:30 PM             25 people
6:00-7:30 PM             25 people
8:00-9:00 PM             25 people

150 people can use the pool each day (25 people for each of the 6 time periods a day = 150).

Poolsopen safely

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

C) Build In Time for Entering/Exiting & Disinfecting

As in the example above, a 20 minute or 30 minute break between blocks of pool time allows:

  • Pool patrons to social distance while entering and exiting the pool.
  • Pool staff to disinfect surfaces and test water chemistry.
  • The number of people in the pool area to stay below the Social Distancing Capacity.

2.      DISINFECTING

The pool water is constantly being disinfected by chlorine, but there may be a need for extra disinfecting of items outside of the pool, such as:

Door handles inside and outside
Handrails and pool ladders
Restroom doors, faucets, sinks, soap and paper towel dispensers, toilet flush levers and baby changing stations
Drink dispensing equipment and water fountains
Light switches
Telephones and Emergency shut-off buttons on spas, dials for spa jets
“Touch to activate” areas on splash pads and spray fountains
Keyless entry readers and lock boxes
Pools that are not staffed may want to put the responsibility for disinfecting on pool patrons.  At pools that are staffed with Lifeguards or Pool Attendants the responsibility for disinfecting may still be with pool patrons, or staff can provide help with disinfecting. If staff is disinfecting, establish designated times to disinfect.

3.       IMPLEMENTING THE SOCIAL DISTANCE CAPACITY AND POOL USAGE SCHEDULE SO POOLS OPEN SAFELY

After estimating a new capacity to support social distancing and new hours for pool usage, decide how to put this into practice.

Several options to limit pool attendance, while maximizing the pool use, are presented below. The best option for your pool may depend on the answers to several questions:

  • What are your state and local distancing guidelines?
  • How busy is your pool?
  • How well do your pool patrons voluntarily follow policies?
  • What will keep your members safe?
  • What will bring pool patrons peace of mind?
  • What are fair guidelines?

OPTIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING SOCIAL DISTANCING CAPACITY AND POOL USAGE TIMES

A.      Use Technology: An online scheduling platform that allows people to reserve time at the pool.

The Pool Management Group has been working closely with Omnify to reposition their online scheduling platform to make it more useful and intuitive for swimming pools.

The Pool Management Group has donated their time and expertise on this project (and will not financially benefit from Omnify’s fees). We’ve done this to provide summer pools with the easiest way to use technology to address several COVID-19 hurdles.

We want everyone to stay safe and have fun at the pool this summer, and we’re happy to share this excellent resource. Feel free to share the platform as well.

We want to thank Omnify for joining this effort. Omnify views this offering as a way for their company to support communities in these difficult times. They’re offering their platform at a discounted rate ($49/mo), while at the same time investing resources to modify their technology and processes for pool owners.

Note on the status of the Omnify platform

Until mid-May, Omnify will be helping pool owners get set up through one-on-one phone calls, to make set up easy for your system administrator (the person setting up the schedule for your pool).

Phase One:  Now though mid-May

  • Pool Patron Experience:  Fully Functional.
  • Pool Administrator Experience:  System set up is completed with phone assistance from Omnify’s Help Desk. Fill out the Signup Form on the website and get a call back in 24 to 48 hours.

Phase Two:  Approximately May 15th

  • Pool Patron Experience:  Fully Functional.
  • Pool System Administrator Experience:  System set up completed online by the administrator. Chat help available.

Features

The Omnify platform offers these features:

  1. Ability to limit the number of people at the pool. (You set how many people can sign up for ‘pool time’ in the system).
  2. Create a series of ‘blocks of pool time’ that people can reserve based on your pool hours. You define when and how long patrons can be at the pool, such as 10am-noon Mon-Fri, 12:30-2pm Mon- Fri, etc. 3:30-5pm Mon-Fri, etc. (you choose the length of time). Creating these blocks of times for each day does two critical things:
  • Maximizes the number of people who can use the pool each day (If you’ve got 6 blocks of time daily serving 25 patrons each block, that’s 25 x 6 blocks = 150 patrons/day).
  • Allows you to build in time between patron ‘pool times’ for disinfecting and time for patrons to enter and exit the property without crowding.
  1. Option to require pool patrons to agree to your Pool Policies or a Release of Liability before reserving time at the pool.
  2. Receive a private reservation webpage (hosted on Omnify) with a link to send to your members. Pool patrons signup and manage changes to their reservations without any platform administrator intervention.
  3. Ability to change capacity limits and pool time schedules (due to experience or future revised regulations).

Offline options for implementing Social Distancing Capacity and Pool Usage Hours:

B.      Volunteer compliance with the posted occupancy number.

Members come into pool area only if the maximum occupancy is not yet met. Members would not know until they get to the pool if capacity is met. Send capacity policy out in newsletters and all other forms of communication. Post signage with the maximum number allowed in the pool and social distancing guidelines of 6’. See sign possibility below.

C.      Pool Staff can limit the number of people on a first-come first-served basis. 

Gate Attendants could be used to monitor the number of people allowed to enter. Gate attendants could also disinfect surfaces.

D.      Set specific hours or days for specific groups of people.

For example, households on Streets A & B could have access to the pool on certain days and possibly even only certain hours (such as Mondays between 12:00 – 2:00). Streets C & D would have access on other days. This helps to inherently restrict pool attendance and increase a patron’s chance of the pool not being at capacity when they go.

E.       Assign time blocks based on street numbers.

This is similar to the above option: Homes with even street numbers could have access to the pool at certain times and days and homes with odd street number could have access to the pool at other designated times and days.

Please Note: It will not be possible for Pool Staff to be involved with enforcing social distancing between groups of people, as they will not know which people already live together. Additionally, Lifeguards cannot have a task in addition to watching the pool.
Pools open Safely - Lane Space - Delly Carr Collection

Lane Space – Photo Courtesy: The Delly Carr Collection

4.      POOL FURNITURE

Since pool furniture cannot be reliably disinfected between each user, consider having pool patrons bring their own chairs each time they come to the pool.

If you choose this option, the pool furniture can be stacked and locked up with a coated cable and padlock.

5.      POOL ACTIVITIES

Group games such as water volleyball, water basketball, cross pool, which involve multiple people interacting in close proximity, should be discontinued. Parents and chaperones of children, not lifeguards, will be responsible if they would like their children to social distance while in the pool.

6.      LIMITING LIABILITY

Seek your attorney’s advice regarding a liability release and a sign.

This is a sample liability release, which could be a required step when one is making a pool reservation online. This release is from the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco:

By signing this agreement, I acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assume the risk that my family, including child(ren), and I may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 while on site at the pool and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, and death. I understand that the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 at the pool may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and others, including, but not limited to, the HOA Board and pool management company’s employees, volunteers, and program participants and their families. I voluntarily agree to assume all of the foregoing risks and accept sole responsibility for any injury to my child(ren) or myself (including, but not limited to, personal injury, disability, and death), illness, damage, loss, claim, liability, or expense, of any kind, that I, my family and my child(ren) may experience or incur in connection with my child(ren)’s attendance at the pool or participation in pool activities (“Claims”). On my behalf, and on behalf of my children, I hereby release, covenant not to sue, discharge, and hold harmless the HOA Board and the pool management company and their employees, agents, and representatives, of and from the Claims, including all liabilities, claims, actions, damages, costs or expenses of any kind arising out of or relating thereto. I understand and agree that this release includes any Claims based on the actions, omissions, or negligence of the HOA Board and the pool management company and their employees, agents, and representatives, whether a COVID-19 infection occurs before, during, or after participation in pool facility activities.

B.      You may want to consider a sign for so pools open safely.

The sign should be large, printed in large letters and posted in a prominent place at the entrance to the pool.

Customize your sign based on local requirements and your policies.

COVID-19 WARNING SIGN – Pool owners may want to consider a sign. The sign should be large, printed in large letters and posted in a prominent place at the entrance to the pool. These are just possible policies – signs can be customize based on local requirements and your policies.

COVID-19 WARNING

  • The danger of exposure to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 exists.
  • By entering the pool, you take responsibility for your own protection and for disinfecting your hands and anything you touch in the pool area.
  • Do not use the pool if you have a cough, fever or other symptoms of illness.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet between you and other people who are not a part of your household.
  • Wear a face covering when you are not in the swimming pool.

MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY ____

Regular updates to the above guidance are made at a dedicated page on the Pool Management Group’s website

  • All commentaries are the opinion of the Pool Management Group and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine, the International Swimming Hall of Fame, nor its staff.
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249 comments

    • Martine Lebrun

      Sylvie Letarte ça ressemble pas mal a ce que j’ai lu a date ! 😊

  1. Amanda Law

    I don’t think sunlight kills the virus as this article states.

    • Katie McLaughlin Goodson

      Amanda Law no, it doesn’t but the sun is an excellent source of vitamin D and it energizes the T- cells which help build immunity. This, in turn, helps your body fight illnesses.

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        Absolutely the sun kills the virus. It doesn’t kill all of it immediately but virus in the sun vs virus n a dark room you have much less that survives the sun.

      • avatar
        Ashlin

        Yeah i doubt they are going to open pools bc of this pandemic but the sun is a great source of vitamin D and stuff like that but stay safe #stayhome❤️

    • Julie Tellier

      Amanda Law Sunlight or, more specifically, solar UV radiation (UV) acts as the principal natural virucide in the environment. UV radiation kills viruses by chemically modifying their genetic material, DNA and RNA.

    • Kerry Johnsen

      Noelle Kawaguchi thank you! Ive been thinking about this a lot. I already have the blocks of pool usage scheduled in my head. Figuring out occupancy capacity will be interesting too. Lots to take into consideration. Now if only I can find disinfecting stuff for the pool.

    • avatar
      John Griffin

      Cindy and I are working on it.

    • avatar
      Ashlin

      Yeah open all pools!

    • avatar
      Annon

      And what about the lifeguards safety? If they have to ‘rescue’ anyone they can’t possibly keep a safe distance and wear pep!

      • avatar
        Jeans

        Annon –
        Exactly. Their are risking their lives to save someone else’s. Can a swim team have practice during Covid-19? How can they safely practice with the social distancing, and breathing hard after races?

  2. Tom Degnan

    Sue Welker – FYI. No mention of how to share lanes or team training with multiple swimmers per lane.

    • Jennifer Rinesmith

      Tom Degnan our club team has mentioned possibly splitting leveled groups into 2 and each group has assigned days. 16 swimmers in a group. 8 per lane at each end of our 50m pool. We shall see.

    • Todd Meyer

      Tom Degnan any practice better then none.. willing to take turns… get workouts from coaches..

    • avatar
      Jane Nichols

      Possibly take every other lane line out and swim the circle using a 2 lane width.
      Position 1/2 of the group starting at the far end and the other 1/2 at the near end (for starting and ending repeats).

    • avatar
      Kathi

      Our teams are allowing 2 swimmers per lane, seating at opposite ends of the pool. Shorter practices in order to spread training groups out. No parents on pool declass, locker rooms limited to bathroom usage only. It’s working well for masters and youth teams

      • avatar
        David Schutzenhofer

        Do you see them competing? How would a swim meet look?

    • avatar
      Anonymous

      Not when chlorine’s involved

  3. Rob Richardson

    My opinion is that a swim club practice could easily follow the guidelines for distancing in and out of the water. Please Open the pools.

    • Jessica Mendelsohn

      Rob Richardson so then tell me why people still get sick and can contract E Coli from pools?

    • Michele Marquit Howard

      Rob Richardson
      Per the CDC, “There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.”

    • Rob Richardson

      Jessica Mendelsohn no one is forcing you or your kids to swim in a pool. If you are ok with the “risk” then you should be able to swim. More likely (statistically )that you will have a car accident driving to the pool

    • Claudia Watters Souder

      Jessica Mendelsohn what source did you get that from? Assuming the pool was properly maintained “chemically”? Referring to your E Coli remark

    • Pia Porkola Smideberg

      Rob Richardson here in Sweden most swimming halls are open and teams have been able to keep practising. Clubs have made new schedules so not too many are in the hall at the same time, parents dont follow inside w their kids etc. Its tougher for larger clubs who normalt have many groups at the same time and have to cancelled some practises. Also Warm up and physics is Done out doors. I am so Happy our kids have been able to go to school and swim practise this whole time, it is the best for their mental health to keep things as close to normal as possible. All competition is cancelled until the fall but at least they get the exercise they need…
      Hope you guys soon can have the same but it is important everyone respects that We need to act differently to be able keep things as normal as possible!

    • Barbara Leuly

      Open the pools! Not the locker rooms, in the pool, practice hard, no hanging on lane lines, small groups, get out right into cars!

  4. Norma Milio

    Small teams dont have the money to pay for more hours of pool time

  5. Antony Edwards

    Jacquie James. This is a good read , with a list of things to think about.

  6. Amy Marie

    Joe Acquaviva plymar doing something like this?

  7. Gina Marcelli-Munk

    It’s been over 100 degree in AZ and it will continue to climb those pools need to open ASAP

  8. Joey Marquart

    My pool in Utah opens Friday. We are not allowed to share lanes or use the showers.

    • Svetlana Barker

      Joey Marquart could please share more information about the pool policy at yurt facility. I am AQ Director in NJ state and we are working on reopening swimming pools plan at my faculty.
      It would be helpful if you could share the name of your faculty and the best contact personal to reach out about opening .
      Thank you
      Svetlana

    • Joey Marquart would you mind sharing details? I’m trying to figure out how to make swim team work if/when our pool opens. Thanks!

  9. Chad Washam

    Danny Weber May be some helpful information here.

    • Danny Weber

      Chad Washam I’ll take a look, I’m on calls about this stuff a lot with the full time job. We have a good plan that meets all guidelines when we can open, Ill share Monday.

  10. Tim Ritchie

    I am sorry, but why on earth do I want to work in this type of environment. Lets just wait 8 more months for a vaccine.

  11. Kerri Sullivan

    Millie McCabe maybe this could be helpful for summer swim

  12. Paul Anthony

    Answer: turn on the lights and pour in the chlorine as usual. Enough media driven hysteria

  13. Todd Meyer

    Open the pools! Common sense.. no sunbathing, sharing lanes, using locker rooms. Lap swimmers only..

    • avatar
      Fran Sosnoski

      Please remember that not all pools are outdoors, that no one is talking about staff safety, and that at least in Canada we have not hit our peak, so opening a facility at this time is not using common sense. Sometimes it is not about what the individual but more about the community including our seniors. Also remember that all guarding staff are going home to their families who are also in contact with others. I agree, let’s wait until workers and patrons can be safe.

  14. Kimberly Joy

    None of this is acceptable. Korean kills the virus. The virus has the same recovery rate as the flu. There is no reason for any restrictions.

    • 余梓鍵

      Drink chlorine instead you idiot!????? The virus is INSIDE the body. Simple common sense. Are you serious STUPID? You don’t drink chlorine!!

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        I believe they meant, pour the chlorine in the water. I don’t believe they were suggesting to ingest it.

  15. Bill Stephan

    Let’s run numbers for a swim team to practice in 6 or 8 lane pools…50 to 250 athletes…

    • Michelyn Rudser Baker

      Bill Stephan wow. This sounds like a cluster f***. Pools in the Midwest are money pits as it is, this would probably kill them off.
      How do you run a practice with a pool full of kids breathing heavily during the sets?? How many of them do you see hacking a goober into the gutter or doing a ‘farmer flick ‘from their nose (hopefully in the gutter as well), It’s not like we haven’t been catching crap in pools all along. Pee, diapers, rashes, eye/ear infections, etc. Gross thought I know, but I guess our ignorance was bliss.

    • Bob McAdams

      The plan for 250 athletes is pretty straightforward:
      1) Accept the fact that from now on, your pool is going to be open 24 hours per day.
      2) Your team will be divided into 10 groups of 25 swimmers. Each group will get the pool for 1.5 hours, separated by 30 minute periods to disinfect the pool area.
      3) Since these groups will have to be spread over 20 hours of the day, this means that once area schools open, those schools will need to accept the fact the some swimmers will need to miss 2 hours out of the school day (plus any additional time needed to travel to and from the pool). Perhaps the schedule can be different for different days of the week so that each swimmer actually gets to attend school for the entire day on most days of the week. Of course, families will need to modify their eating and sleeping schedules so that their swimmers can be free at their allotted times.
      4) The remaining 4 hours of the day will be reserved for the 50 swimmers (of all ages) who aren’t on the swim team but will be allowed to use the pool. If those swimmers have historically had other activities (like jobs) that restrict the hours when they are available, those other activities will have to adjust their hours to allow the swimmers to be free during the 1.5 hour period that is assigned to them. If they will agree to only use the pool every other day, then it should be possible to expand this group to 100 swimmers.

      Keep in mind that these 350 swimmers will need to be fairly rich, since they will have to collectively cover all of the expenses needed to keep the pool in operation.

    • Peter Scott

      Bob McAdams rich to be able to afford the likely medical expenses and personal heartache of infected and dying family members…..but thats ok as long as they can get a nice swim in…..😤stay safe😷

    • Pam Smith

      Bill Stephan and also this virus has fecal shedding- just throwing this disgusting factor in as learn to swim and programs with guppies/young age groupers. Things happen.

    • Pamela Goldsbro

      Michelyn Rudser Baker … Thank god for people like you that have a brain.👍

  16. Allison Gober

    I’ve got a suggestion…stop trying to regulate everything! Open the pools and let people decide for themselves whether they want to get in or not?!?!

    • 余梓鍵

      Tell me how this coronavirus spreads. How many deaths and positive cases so far?

    • Alvaro Fortuny

      Allison Gober great idea!! People are making such a fuzz about it.

    • Spencer Pinter

      You, my dear, have way too much common sense! Like you have been infected with the common sense virus, or something. 🤣🤣🤣

    • Allison Gober

      Spencer Pinter just waiting on them to release that mandatory common sense vaccine! 🤷🏻‍♀️

    • Spencer Pinter

      Allison Gober – Right?!! Who knows how long that will take. For now, however, how about people try to ☝🏻

    • Kimberly Joy

      Allison Gober seriously. So OVER the hype.

      Our county has shut down all public pools for the summer and in apartment and condo complexes there is a one person per pool rule regardless of how big it is. It is absurd

    • Rainer A Parada

      Allison Gober I’m a swimmer but it’s better to keep them closed . Trust me. It’s impossible to control a swimming pool . People are so stupid they will infect them selfs and everyone at home .

  17. Valerie Stewart

    This is a flu, kids have been swimming with flus for years…please open the pools and resume to normalcy:)

    • Valerie Stewart

      Tanya McDowell Thome interesting that every other cause of death is down? Research mainstream news that doctors are being coerced to fill out death certificates as cov 19 when they are not. A family member just passed away last week, from congenital heart failure, after receiving a negative Covid 19 test in the hospital. The COD was listed as Covid 19!!!!

      • avatar
        chris madden

        i am an ICU nurse, there are a good amount of false negatives. These patients all present similarly. People are afraid to come into the hospital for other ailments, for fear that they will get covid.

    • Doug Schack

      Tanya McDowell Thome 62,000 died in the 2017-18 flu season. Now you can say that a flu season is 5-6 months long but everyone knows January and February are the hot bed months – right after everyone gets together for the holidays 😉

    • 余梓鍵

      It’s not flu! Wow. You are all stating numbers and figures but have you any idea how much pain and grief these people are feeling? We don’t have a vaccine yet!! Any here an anti vaxxer?? Many are asymptomatic and you don’t know if you have it. From Reuters and Bloomberg. It is deadlier than the flu.

    • Peter Scott

      Tony Trefoil sadly yes, clueless and selfish. What they suffer from is not catching but it is certainly very dangerous for everyone😑stay safe😷

    • Claire Kennedy

      Valerie Stewart this is not just flu’, it’s far worse and deadly for many people of all ages but particularly those who are older although young people are not immune. I’m sorry but I don’t understand why you think it’s just flu’? Have you not been listening or reading up about it?

    • Valerie Stewart

      Claire Kennedy
      CDC… not human transmission … not a problem

      CDC… human transmission
      CDC…. masks don’t work.
      CDC… masks do work but are only for care providers.
      CDC… masks are required outside.
      CDC… 3foot transmission
      CDC… 6 foot transmission
      CDC … 36 foot transmission
      CDC… didn’t get in food.
      CDC .., does get on food.
      CDC…. big problem with daily changes.
      If you have been following as I have… you will see drs saying this is BS.
      You will hear drs saying that Zithromax and clorquizine Work and works well.
      You will hear drs saying they are being coerced to lie on death certificates.
      You will notice that Fauci works for Gates foundation.
      You will read that Fauci gave 3.7 million to Wuhan lab in question.
      You will find that CDC is also a business that profits from vaccines.
      You will find head of WHO worked for communist China, is NOT a dr at all and in fact was head of a known terrorist organization.
      The CDC Has screwed up since day one and has questionable connections with Gates foundation.

      I did not say this was JUST A FLU.
      I said it was A FLU.

      The origin is from
      A corona virus.

      Cigarettes kill million a year. Alcohol kills three million.
      The flu kills 64,000 a year.
      Do we shut the economy for any of those?

      You are projecting on me without an understanding of science.

      Read the facts before responding.

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        Sooooo treu…
        not to mention tuberculosis—-it kills globally and is becoming drug resistant
        There’s no vaccine for HIV or Herpes virus and they are rampant…
        Car accidents and ALCOHOL kill more people than viruses

        We could have done this much differently….if you were afraid or at risk, stay home….otherwise, let life go on. After this it will be another disease….you can’t stop it…viruses and bacteria find ways around human interventions…

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        You don’t get cancer by just standing next to a smoker, you get liver damage by just standing next to an alcoholic, you can get the virus by just standing next to person with a virus. Horrible comparisons.

      • avatar
        Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

        Valerie, a great deal of all that is pure conjecture and rumour with no basis in fact – and you compound your errors with extremely poor comparisons. Beyond the error of a million smokers dying (fact: “Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States”), smoking is a choice (one that kills about 40,000 passive smokers among those 480,000). COVID-19 is not a choice. It’s a virus too little is know about to make standard behaviour and approaches acceptable as a response. If that were not the case, the world would have stayed open. It didn’t – there was good reason for that.

    • Kimberly Joy

      Kelly McKibben Lindaman Not by a long shot. The mortality rate has already been established to be akin to the flu. The flu also kills people of all ages it does not discriminate. The average age for this virus is 80 years old, which exceeds the average life expectancy for human beings by 5 years. More people over a 100 years old have died from this disease than people under 30.Over half of all the deaths have been in communal type living environments like nursing homes or other assisted living facilities.

      The flu is much worse compared to this over hyped virus.

    • Kelly McKibben Lindaman

      Kimberly Joy
      I don’t think thousands of doctors and scientists are wrong but hey I’m sure you know everything

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      Valerie – its not a flu – read the literature. It’s clearly not a flu.

  18. Ronna Frndz

    BTW, it chlorine at least 15 minutes to kill viruses and such. The pool does not have the virus. People do. Yes children are less like to get it but they can be carriers in a variety of ways. Also, not all swimmers are healthy children. I don’t my kid to bring that home to me and get me sick. Yes, I have a competitive swimmer. I have a kid who coaches. I have a First responder husband. And I have an “essential worker” kid. I would like to stay safe as long as possible.
    It’s a good thing my kid got a full scholarship for his academics and then some. D1 Swimming will be an extra. I feel sorry for those dependent on swimming to get into college and money. We invested in school. That will get him further in life than the sport itself.

    • Kate Dunne

      Ronna Frndz Then stay home and keep your kid home! The rest of us are going back.

    • Julie Tellier

      Ronna Frndz then you wouldn’t send your child, that’s fine, that’s your choice. That’s not everyone’s choice. Some people want to live their lives and that is ok to.

    • 余梓鍵

      The virus is inside the body not outside! Or are you willing to drink bleach and chlorine? Don’t be stupid

    • Tony Trefoil

      Ronna Frndz thank you for talking with sense. These people are selfish…

    • Julie Tellier

      Tony Trefoil people are selfish simply because they have other beliefs, values, opinions and knowledge than you?

    • Peter Scott

      Julie Tellier they are selfish because they don’t care about anyone but themselves and only care about what they want to do.😤stay safe😷

    • Tony Trefoil

      Peter Scott took the words right out of my keyboard

    • Julie Tellier

      Peter Scott and Tony Trefoil wants people to do only what he wants them to do and care about what he wants them to care about.

    • Pam Smith

      Kate Dunne fecal shed of this virus 💩 no one ever farts or might lose a turd in the pool? You have learn to swim or young age groupers? Disability swimmers who may occasionally
      Have incontinence issues?

  19. Lynette Besonday-Washburn

    I’m in AZ. The temp is going to be 105 today. We have lots of sun. No pools are opened and won’t be for another 2 weeks or more. Totally ridiculous.

    • 余梓鍵

      I take social distancing is applicable for young people at all times? Seeing that it’s hot… won’t socialising be a problem? Deaths and cases in the US are the highest. Worst than flu! 60000 deaths so far and increasing. The sooner we reduce transmission we sooner we can return to normal

    • Peter Scott

      余梓鍵 not surprising that most of the people posting on here are from USA. However, I certainly hope they are the vocal minority…..😑a mega disaster for the rest of the people with common sense not to mention an economic collapse that will likely take between 4 to 10 years to fix….😑stay safe😷

    • Spencer Pinter

      Peter Scott – Love your opinion/assumption about the “vocal minority”. You know what they say about opinions…

    • Kimberly Joy

      Lynette Besonday-Washburn And in California are nazi governor just shut down our beaches because people dared to go out and enjoy the water in a 100゚ heat over the weekend.

    • Kimberly Joy

      Peter Scott – worry about your crappy country. We in the U.S. have a constitution, something you could never understand.

      P.s. you would be speaking German if it werent for America. So STFU.

  20. Caro Caballero

    Good suggestions but I don’t think the problem is at the pool itself, problem is common areas before and after getting into pool. When I was a kid every 15 days a doctor or nurse at the pool would need to conducta. Physical revision and sign a certificate, I could see this as a way to ensure folks getting in are not sick. Also in the northeast we need to consider indoor pools, 9 of 12 months of year indoor pools are needed

  21. Cara Jones

    How about this; swimmers jump in the pool and swim and the coaches coach them.

  22. Lori Carena

    In NYC with those limitations on occupancy, I will never swim again. The problem is the locker room and protecting staff, students who staff the pools.

  23. avatar
    Jim Fraser

    Newsweek, Yahoo News and others have reported that the Homeland Security Department’s Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center laboratory experiments show that sunlight destroys coronavirus quickly.

    • Josh Smith

      Rebecca Trompke Hansen I know you are. And these are all things I know you’re thinking about. We appreciate your efforts!

  24. Spencer Pinter

    The following from a gentleman in Sweden: Here in Sweden most swimming halls are open and teams have been able to keep practising. Clubs have made new schedules so not too many are in the hall at the same time, parents dont follow inside w their kids etc. Its tougher for larger clubs who normalt have many groups at the same time and have to cancelled some practises. Also Warm up and physics is Done out doors. I am so Happy our kids have been able to go to school and swim practise this whole time, it is the best for their mental health to keep things as close to normal as possible. All competition is cancelled until the fall but at least they get the exercise they need…
    Hope you guys soon can have the same but it is important everyone respects that We need to act differently to be able keep things as normal as possible!

    • Pamela Goldsbro

      Spencer Pinter … you are all way more obedient than those in the USA. Little Johnny doesn’t like to train at 4.45pm for 2 hours that upsets his dinner schedule 😂

    • Allison Gober

      Pamela Goldsbro not this American family! We will take whatever damn practice slot we can get right now…we can eat dinner in the car!

  25. Pamela Goldsbro

    It’s not about the actual pool, it’s about the surrounding infrastructure. The tap in the bathroom , handle to the toilet door, the lid to the gear cage, the turnstiles to get it. The water is the easy part . I’m all for pools beings opened for Elite athletes at this point(qualifying times for Olympic trials) but everyone needs to have a better plan in place than ”let’s see how it goes “.

  26. Wendy Reynolds

    I’d like a scientific citation for the comment “sunlight kills the virus”. That comment alone makes the rest of the article suspect.

  27. Pamela Wu

    The world is not the same anymore….hope we all stay safe and healthy, my kids can’t wait to go back to the pool!

  28. Jan Daly

    How are swimming lessons and swimming clubs going to train. Some clubs have 10 swimmers per lane all congregated at the end of the lane to hear the coach.

    With swimming lessons the teacher could be in the pool within 2m.

    How will it all work?

  29. James Hooper

    Social distancing is a fun little concept to throw around, but when you start actually implementing it, ie, reducing the number of pool users, entry fees will have to skyrocket to keep pools financially viable. Probably price themselves out of existence. 🤷🏻‍♂️

  30. Paul Smith

    The problem at this stage is that a significant number of cities have already canceled programs and let go of staff (March and April are key months that they recruit and train) mostly due to significant revenue reduction.

    So even if these guidelines work in many cases there are no employees to work at the pools so they can open.

    • Rob Richardson

      Paul Smith People are way over thinking this…if 500 people can walk into Home Depot every hour then I can have 100 kids in 3-4 hrs. Home Depot for homeowners isn’t really essential now is it?

      We will bring our own lifeguards for a 3-4 hr shift for one pool. So the facility literally needs one person to open the door/gate which they already have because the pool maintenance people haven’t lost their jobs – not like they drained the pools (in Arizona).

      In fact at one high school pool we train at there isn’t even a requirement for lifeguard, we have a key to the gate, and the showers are outside!!

    • Jason Barnard

      Paul Smith you’re right. We should just let all the infrastructure go and tell everyone to stay home. Don’t bother trying to hire anyone. Don’t open for swim teams that already have trained lifeguards/coaches. Just roll over and try not to die. Good job! [sarc]

    • Paul Smith

      Not what I’m saying it’s what has happened in a number of areas…and I disagree with it.

      I’m sad that a lot of rec programs have been canceled and lots of staff left without jobs. But the reality is almost all pools are being maintained and as Rob pointed out the cities and schools that manage these taxpayer owned and funded facilities should allow the club teams to rent and hire their own guards if needed.

  31. Amanda Law

    This is just so complicated that I can’t see it being successfully executed. Not to mention the average age of workers of summer pools is like 17, how can we expect these young people to be responsible enough to follow all these complex guidelines to the t.

    • Jason Barnard

      Amanda Law how about simplifying the guidelines then?! As Rob Richardson says above, if Home Depot and Costco can do it with hundreds of customers an hour, we can do it with pools and other small businesses. Stop being scared and take care of your own health. If you don’t want to leave your home, don’t. But don’t tell the rest of us to stop living our lives either.

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        Thanks for your boldness ! We need you to help stop the fear. Stay home if you’re afraid.

  32. Alicia Orendain

    Private swim schools can still reopen and operate responsibly. Most have employee who have worked for them for many years and are ready to get back to work.

  33. Kathryn Meinhardt

    If u open only to lap swimmers u can do away with all the chair math. No frolickers allowed.

  34. Ja Bounce

    Has opposite site ENTER / EXIT ways. Limit locker-rooms for bathroom break only. Step up Walk-through sprinkler “shower” for athletes before entering pool (athletes can shower afterwards at home) . Disinfectants can be used between teams entering/exiting (or floating guard on break – 15/30min rotations). Guards are already set up for pool watch so nuff said on that. Have to start somewhere so take it day / practice at time. Shouldn’t be too complicated in working out details. Teams exiting practice/ new teams in will be where TIME can be waisted (Coaches teams will need to boogie so every-time gets equal time)… just for starters

  35. Lynn Titchener

    Sorry but this is bull sh… t Open the pools ! Let us swim ! Figure out the swim meets etc. as we go along, but OPEN THE POOLS !!!

  36. Mike McCoulf

    I get it we all want what we love open but look at the states that aren’t doing it right and the people ignoring this and not taking it seriously they are spiking and spiking big I understand but we need to take our collective Ritalin and calm down and practice patience

  37. Tim Ritchie

    If we have to follow these guidelines, doesn’t that tell us that pools really are not essential enough to risk for The young workers who will be expected to execute the plan?

  38. Kristin Winfrey

    Just lap swimming only. Swimming laps has a lot of health benefits. Playing in the pool is not necessary.

  39. avatar
    Anonymous

    I would love to feel optimistic about this, but how do you create a safe work environment for the guards? There is no way to do a socially distant rescue… I’m most hopeful about swim options in spaces that typically do not have a guard/are not required to have one.

  40. Andy Muller

    I sincerely hope so as our summer starts in November 😉 Greetings from Perth, Australia

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      🙂

    • Andrew Fritz

      Patti Matthew boy, there are a ton of these articles you’re finding!

  41. Jen Hintz

    Governor JB Pritzker you can do it! Open the pools Illinois!

  42. Esther McKenna

    What would the recommendations be for the lifeguards? Many of them teenagers making minimum wage or close to it. Is it advisable for them to be in a position to possibly have to give mouth to mouth etc.? Not judging, just genuinely asking if anyone knows what the expectations might be

    • Bekah Ko

      Esther McKenna all lifeguards are given masks and carry them with them for emergency purposes. Most pools should also have their own oxygen tanks and bag-mask devices. They should be safe if they follow protocol 🙂

    • Travis Black

      CPR has changed. Compression to breath is 30:2 and the breath is not actually necessary. But I’m sure they have mask or the pump mask.

  43. Dan Larson

    So…
    No swim team or swim lessons?
    Water polo is out

    Seems like pools are typically in precarious shape, financially, in the best of times
    Removing so many activities will surely result in the closure of many pools.
    Any ideas to help pools stay open?

  44. Douglas Joseph

    Listen up, CoVid-19 is a humongous failure to scare the people in to submitting to anything. DO NOT BITE OFF ON THIS CRAP. I don’t know about you, but I KNOW it is time for the people to break and WALK away from these asshats and THEIR fictitious artificial transgender, transGRESSIVE realm/world of COMMERCE.

    This is highly likely to cause a stir but I for one am SICK AND TIRED of these PAID morons bull crapping all of the people and trying now to get them to be VIOLENT in opposition to all these friggin RIDICULOUS demands. Those that don’t like this, well TS. If YOU want to be-LIE-ve their BS, go right ahead, I am walking away from the entire FU mess and starting my OWN system of community based on the Co-op economic model. It works….just google “Mondragon co-op Spain” and watch the videos.

    It may not be perfect, BUT, any thing is better than the current keystone cop version of their legal name game.

  45. avatar
    One Who Knows

    When looking at swim teams and public pools, we must look at ALL of the dynamics related to Covid19, whether or not you think the info about Covid19 is correct.

    It’s true that teams can probably have coaches act as lifeguards and have all participants sign Covid19 waivers to protect the public entity that owns/operates the pool. And the teams can practice social distancing and all safety protocols.

    BUT, then the public just sees swimmers using the pool (not understanding that coaches are the guards, waivers have been signed etc.), and wants to use the pool too. They start complaining to their local elected representative and/or news outlet. Then the local jurisdiction gets negative press and has to explain what’s going on (i.e. swim team, no guards etc.)

    I could keep going with this scenario and haven’t even discussed how to keep life guards safe with social distancing in a drowning situation; or bathroom protocols (yes, lap swimmers will need to go potty – guaranteed), but am sure you get the idea. So, in this situation, it’s pretty obvious that the path of least resistance is to not open the pool at all. Yes, sad but true, most pool managers and the people they answer to, don’t want to rock the boat (pun intended).

    I can see many pools staying closed for the remaining fiscal year to save money (no guards, less up keep, heaters turned off, pumps run less etc.) Who knows when they will reopen? If we want to get back into the water, WE have to come up with answers to ALL scenarios related to Covid19.

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      Indeed, OWK, quite so.

  46. Kathryn Meinhardt

    C’mon California! Get over yourself and let us back in the water to train. Sunbathers need not be allowed in.

    • Jeannine Juskalian

      Jessica Middleton Newman sorry to say you should be the last on the national scale since you were ground zero to the virus. PA isn’t even open yet.

    • Jeannine Juskalian .. you mean NYC. Dont forget the rest of New York has very small amount of cases. Close off Nyc then, let them wait.

    • Jeannine Juskalian

      Jessica Middleton Newman yes but look at New Jersey the neighboring north jersey consumed all of New Jersey because of there travels to New York. I could say the same thing about PA but they are opening up all counties in PA besides philly and as big as we are we didn’t have that many cases/deaths. And you said NY they can’t open NY to swimming maybe certain counties that’s why I took it as the entire state

  47. Douglas Joseph

    Asking for something that never should have been given to those asshats to decide is stupid. Don’t work for the corporations anymore and see what they do then. STOP partaking in their silly game of FICTITIOUD legal names and the GAME they created for themselves. Who is THEY??? ATTORNEYS. Politicians ARE all lawmaking asshats that carry licenses to PRACTICE law. It’s FAKE as a 3 dollar bill and worth less than Michael Obama’s used stanky thong.

  48. Kathy Allman

    Dear Massachusetts: open the damn pools with guidelines. Sincerely, all of us who do not GOLF but live in this damn state.

    • Garry Hudson

      Joel Pitchforth looks like our plans were ahead of the game !!!!just awaiting BOJO so we can turn the heaters up

  49. avatar
    Rich Crompton

    The 170 sq ft per person seems overkill to maintain 6′ distance between people/chairs. 170 sq ft accommodates for over 13′ between individuals, point to point.

    Wouldn’t 6′ distance between individuals require more like 40 sq ft per person?

  50. avatar
    Carol

    The pool hours fit only the staffs hours – does not consider the hours of the working residents.
    I don’t like not having my freedom to go to the pool when I want.

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