Swimming pool

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week offered considerations for the safety of those who operate, manage, and use public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the considerations, to maintain healthy environments, the CDC encourages facilities to consider topics, including cleaning and disinfecting, ventilation, water systems, modified layouts, physical barriers and guides, communal spaces and shared objects.

In regards to cleaning and disinfecting, facilities should look at cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects each time they are used.

  • Handrails, slides, and structures for climbing or playing
  • Lounge chairs, tabletops, pool noodles, and kickboards
  • Door handles and surfaces of restrooms, handwashing stations, diaper-changing stations, and showers

In terms of modified layouts, facilities should change deck layouts to ensure that "in the standing and seating areas, individuals can remain at least 6 feet apart from those they don’t live with."

Regarding physical barriers and guides, the CDC says, "providing physical cues or guides (for example, lane lines in the water or chairs and tables on the deck) and visual cues (for example, tape on the decks, floors, or sidewalks) and signs to ensure that staff, patrons, and swimmers stay at least 6 feet apart from those they don’t live with, both in and out of the water."

For shared objects, the CDC lists three scenarios for consideration:

  • Discouraging people from sharing items that are difficult to clean, sanitize, or disinfect or that are meant to come in contact with the face (for example, goggles, nose clips, and snorkels).
  • Discouraging the sharing of items such as food, equipment, toys, and supplies with those they don’t live with.
  • Ensuring adequate equipment for patrons and swimmers, such as kick boards and pool noodles, to minimize sharing to the extent possible, or limiting use of equipment by one group of users at a time and cleaning and disinfecting between use.

The CDC also suggests facilities consider different strategies to encourage healthy hygiene, including: hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, cloth face coverings, staying home, adequate supplies and signs and messages.

As part of maintaining health operations, the CDC encourages facilities to ensure that lifeguards who are actively lifeguarding are not also expected to monitor handwashing, use of cloth face coverings, or social distancing of others. "Assign this monitoring responsibility to another staff member," the CDC says.

For gatherings, the CDC lists the following scenarios for facilities to review:

      • Avoiding group events, gatherings, or meetings both in and out of the water if social distancing of at least 6 feet between people who don’t live together cannot be maintained. Exceptions to the social distancing guidance include:
        • Anyone rescuing a distressed swimmer, providing first aid, or performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, with or without an automated external defibrillator.
        • Individuals in the process of evacuating an aquatic venue or entire facility due to an emergency.
      • If planned events must be conducted, staggering drop-off and pick-up times, as much as possible, to maintain distance of at least 6 feet between people who don’t live together.
      • Asking parents to consider if their children are capable of staying at least 6 feet apart from people they don’t live with before taking them to a public aquatic venue.
      • Limiting any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations.

The CDC encourages facilities to perform daily health checks (for example, the CDC notes, temperature screening or symptom checking) of staff.

To read more on the CDC's pool considerations, visit: https://bit.ly/2Zp5bjt

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