Water Safety USA Renews Calls For Swim Organizations To Help Develop National Plan

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Water Safety USA's steering committee is asking stakeholders to join efforts to develop a National Water Safety Plan - Photo Courtesy: Craig Lord (main image) and Water Safety USA (inset)

A steering committee formed by Water Safety USA has renewed calls for stakeholders and interested parties to join efforts to develop a U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan that will now take into account the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Renewed efforts by Water Safety partners to engage with stakeholders coincides with updated information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States that speaks directly to pool operators and users and aimed at “Promoting Behaviors that Prevent the Spread of COVID-19” and “Maintaining Healthy Environments”.

Water Safety USA initiated a process to develop a U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan following a recommendation to all members of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its 2014 Global Drowning Report.

It’s National Plan initiative, which started in 2018 is set to conclude in 2021 but now has an extra tier of work to do related to issues highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic – is being led by a Steering Committee with representation from national organizations including USA Swimming, the American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Make the Minute Matter, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, Safe Kids Worldwide, USA Swimming, YMCA and the ZAC Foundation.

Some of those partners have issued renewed calls this week for stakeholders to join the effort and bring their expertise to the table.

As swimming revival strategies are being planned at many levels, from elite sport to teaching and the leisure sector, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown easing, Water Safety USA’s invitation is to any who wish to join “a Working Group as a member, key informant, or reviewer”, starting with completing an Engagement Survey to indicate their specific area of interest. In its invitation, Water Safety notes:

“The Steering Committee understands the importance of ensuring the input from a broad spectrum of stakeholders as we move through the development process, and as a result, we have built a number of opportunities for input into the process as the U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan is developed. You can help by contributing to a Working Group as a member, key informant, or reviewer.”

Water Safety USA & Updated CDC Guidance For Pool Operators and Users

The “Considerations for Public Pools, Hot Tubs, and Water Playgrounds During COVID-19” guidance regularly updated by the CDC now stretches to a section “Promoting Behaviors that Prevent the Spread of COVID-19” and the following that speaks to many of the points made by Prof. Vincenzo Spica in a COVID-19 Swimming Pool Study underway in partnership with Myrtha Pools.

 

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32 comments

  1. Jason Swaim

    We don’t need more guidelines and regulations from bureaucrats thanks.

  2. Oline Stehr

    The swim community is not full of idiots, they can figure out how to keep kids safe with ALL the guidelines already in place!

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

      Where are the guidelines on how to handle equipment, water bottles, asthma sprays etc: helicopter down on to a traditional swim club session in a 6-lane 25y or m indoor pool in winter and take a look at the deck. Where are the guidelines you speak of that would be useful for taking COVID-19 into account?

  3. Dick Beaver

    Hey “water safety” folks, the only thing that has actually changed is that a flu bug has been sensationalized. Stick to your original “safety” goals and get off the control freak stupidity bandwagon.

    • Swimming World

      Not ‘flu Dick – only in your head, not reality… you’ve got so much homework to do; your comments keep peddling falsehoods. I recommend seeking out the facts and making yourself look smarter. Right now, I doubt if decision makers are going to listen to you, which I assume is not what you want.

    • Dirk G. Winkler

      Swimming World seems to me you are the one needing to do the homework and stop drinking the cool aid you are being served by mass media!

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

        Dirk, nonsense. Nothing to do with mass media. A revival and return to swimming requires safety measures and new habits to be well thought through and established if the sport is to avoid what nobody wants: back to lockdown. If you agree with Dick’s ‘just a ‘flu’ and other such factual errors, then you, too, need to do your homework. I’ve done mine for decades and don’t need the mainstream media or anyone else to tell me why safety counts more than some would like it to without them ever accepting liability or responsibility or accountability when and should and if things go wrong. You’re surely better than that.

    • Swimming World

      Dirk G. Winkler Dirk, nonsense. Nothing to do with mass media. A revival and return to swimming requires safety measures and new habits to be well thought through and established if the sport is to avoid what nobody wants: back to lockdown. If you agree with Dick’s ‘just a ‘flu’ and other such factual errors, then you, too, need to do your homework. I’ve done mine for decades and don’t need the mainstream media or anyone else to tell me why safety counts more than some would like it to without them ever accepting liability or responsibility or accountability when and should and if things go wrong. You’re surely better than that. – Craig Lord

    • Dirk G. Winkler

      Swimming World look Craig, the lockdown was the right thing to do at first when we knew nothing about this virus, but now we know many things and one of them being that the death rate is under 1% which is pretty much exactly what the flu does. The lockdown in retrospect was counterproductive and your proposed measures for reopening pools are as well. The only difference to the flu is that this spreads way easier, so unless you know someone that never had the flu good luck trying to stop the spread….

    • Dick Beaver

      Swimming World nope. NOT “peddling” falsehoods. I have done my homework. The number of these flu cases don’t add up to a so-called pandemic. They barely add up to the annual flu deaths numbers. I suggest that you assign a couple of your interns to do some un-biased research for you. For starters, follow the money trail re: Fauci, Bill Gates, Soros, and the pharmaceutical company connections.
      My first swimming race was in 1947, Chrystal Plunge in San Francisco. Swam at IU with Doc Councilman. Represented the USA Internationally. Swim coach 20 years, including for the Italian and Mexican Olympic Committee’s, ’68 and ’76.
      The last 30 years as a chiropractor studying “health” as opposed sickness. Yep, I’ve been doing my homework. Nobody ever got sick from my swimming pools…..well, that I knew of. In sum, I’m fully invested in world swimming, including the STUPIDITY of closing out Olympic Coach Ray Looze at IU, and of course all the other Olympic coaches.
      Thanks for listening, and responding. Blame any “typos” on autocorrect. 😁

    • Dick Beaver

      Dirk G. Winkler well, it looks like we finally got somebody’s attention. Nice to finally have some dialogue.

    • Dirk G. Winkler

      Dick Beaver yes Dick:) For you Swimming World
      “The more we know, the more we know that we know nothing”
      Sokrates 😉🤙

    • Peter Scott

      Swimming World keep on with the good work. As we know some people will never learn…😤stay safe😷

    • avatar
      Kim

      Needs to be a personal choice ….

    • Spencer Pinter

      Peter Scott – Ha! Says the Brit living on a small island out in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Stay safe out there, Peter!! 🤣🤣🤣

    • Max Howard

      Dick Beaver, the cdc numbers for annual flu predictions are for potential mortalities. Actual deaths from flu per year are a fraction of the number we’ve already lost in the early stages we’re in. In two months just about twice the number of people have died than did in all the years of the Viet Nam war. If you haven’t seen it, or lost anybody yet, then lucky you. But a horrible number of your fellow citizens have died in a short time. If you don’t respect that, your case for opening up is a weak one.

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

        Bravo, Max.

    • Rick Parker

      Swimming World when did you become an epidemiologist? Getting woke is not a good strategy for selling magazines.

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

        Rick, when did you become someone who did not understand why ‘safety first’ is essential. You hail from the land of Fran Crippen. Have some respect. Will you be there when tragedy strikes; will you and all of you refusing to acknowledge that pools are controlled environments for very good reasons and that also makes them ideal environments in which to instil best practice and habits among operators and users. Swimming has a fine chance to get this right. ‘All back in and let’s ‘sales the safety dragon’ will set swimming back a million miles, particularly in a pandemic shy of a scientific and medical community making the breakthroughs we’d all like to see. Should the rejection of ‘safety first’ when that is most needed lead to tragedy, will you be there to accept liability and accountability and responsibility. The answer is obvious: no – but the organisations that make up Water Safety USA will be. Spot the difference.

    • Dirk G. Winkler

      Max Howard 2.6 million people die in the US alone every year, that’s 200.000 monthly….from everything but covid…where are those deaths now? we have clear numbers of amount of people dying for every week, month, year and we can compare how many are dying each year…. there is no spike in 2020…. zero…

    • Dirk G. Winkler

      Swimming world should start sending the right message which is not more safety measures!! Open the pools and let’s move on is what it should be!

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

        Dirk, we’re not a PR machine and whatever our role may be it is strictly not to “send the right message” for people who place athlete safety anything but first. You hail from Germany and now you live in the land of Fran Crippen and have a role related to water. Have some respect.

  4. Adam Rice

    I’m not sure how people intend to swim “safely”. Pools are typically over crowded, and when these kids are huffing and puffing from working their asses off, how do you stop the entire team from getting an upper respiratory disease? And for the rest of those that think it is a conspiracy, good luck in life. ✌️

    • Craig Lord

      Sharon Chocko Gallagher no-one is calling for ‚no swimming’ … but safety is essential and strategies have to be in place … simplistic surface thought doesn’t work in a pandemic … I urge you to think more deeply and fathom why ‚back to what was‘ is not possible for the time being

    • Craig Lord I disagree. The longer we allow people to tell us what is safe for us the more freedoms we lose and we will never get back to where we were. Have you researched past pandemics and the lockdown methods and cleansing protocols used after them. You cant because there were none implemented. Wash your hands and move on. If you feel unsafe stay home. Everyone will not get tested or vaccinated if that is what you are waiting for.

  5. Brian Muhs

    Here’s a plan: GET BACK IN THE POOL! If your afraid then quit.

  6. avatar
    Facts Before Fear

    As it relates to competitive swimming, the COVID mortality rate for those under 25 is less than .005%…far less than the flu for what it’s worth.

    Over 80% of all COVID deaths are of those 65+…and mostly 80+. More than half of those were due to outbreaks within nursing home type settings.

    Protect the elderly and immunocompromised as you would against any virus, and get on with life. Or don’t. It’s your choice.

    Facts before Fear.

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

      Safety measures speak to facts – and that has nothing to do with fear. A much overused and missed phrase right now.

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