Today is Memorial Day, which means it’s unofficially summer in the U.S.A.! For those residing outside the United States, Memorial Day weekend has always been the unofficial start to summer. It’s also my favorite weekend of the year because my birthday sometimes falls on it and I usually spend it in my hometown of South Norwalk, Connecticut, hanging out with friends and family at the beach or near a BBQ. The highlight is always attending our local parade and playing stickball. This year, our annual Memorial Day trip didn’t happen, so introducing my daughter to the people I’ve known the longest will have to wait at least another year. I digress…
Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a long post on pool safety (for both operators and swimmers) during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a lengthy post, but below is—in short—what you can expect when swimming in a pool this summer, direct from the CDC (note: the advice is written to be received by operators, but the recommended actions are meant to protect swimmers):
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
- Encouraging all staff, patrons, and swimmers to wash their hands often and cover their coughs and sneezes.
Cloth Face Coverings
- Encouraging the use of cloth face coverings as feasible. Face coverings are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.
- Advise those wearing face coverings to not wear them in the water. Cloth face coverings can be difficult to breathe through when they’re wet.
- Educating staff, patrons, and swimmers about when to stay home (for example, if they have symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days) and when they can safely end their home isolation.
- Ensuring adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene. Supplies include soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer), paper towels, tissues, and no-touch trash cans.
Signs and Messages
- Posting signs about how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly use a cloth face covering in highly visible locations (for example, at deck entrances and at sinks).
- Broadcasting regular announcements about how to stop the spread on PA system.
- Including messages about behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19 in contracts with individual patrons or households, in emails, on facility websites (for example, posting online videos), through facility’s social media accounts, and on entrance tickets).
See the full CDC post on what to know before operating or swimming in a pool this summer here.
More tips for anyone planning on swimming in a pool
- How Swimming in a Pool Could Get You Sick
- How to Find a Hotel Pool Party or Cool Spot on a Hot Summer Day
- How to Rent a Pool Near You by the Hour
- How to Make a Safe Kiddie Pool at the Beach
- Don’t Swim with Clothes On
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