Garden City Swim Club – COVID-19 Response Plan
Garden City Swim Club is prepared to provide a safe environment for its membership. Given the circumstances, we have developed a plan following the guidelines and suggestions of the CDC. These protocols will be reassessed on a regular basis and modified as needed in compliance with changing regulations and recommendations, as well as to maximize the safety of our members and guests.
Promoting Behaviors that Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Public aquatic venues can consider different strategies to encourage healthy hygiene, including:
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
CDC Suggestions: Encouraging all staff, patrons, and swimmers to wash their hands often and cover their coughs and sneezes.
Our Plan: Hand sanitizer stations will be placed at the guard room and by the concession stand. Staff will be required to wash hands with soap and water before moving to the front desk, after eating, and prior to administering first aid.
Cloth Face Coverings
CDC Suggestions: 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.
Our Plan: Patrons required to wear a face covering in the concession and restroom areas, encouraged to in the grass areas, and prohibited from wearing face coverings in the pool. Staff will be required to wear face masks at the Guard Room window and in concessions area.
CDC Suggestions: 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.
Our Plan: The staff will be provided with information educating them about when to stay home. An email with similar information will be sent out to the membership.
CDC Suggestions: 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.
Our Plan: The manager and manager’s assistants will work together to take inventory and replenish supplies weekly to ensure that we are always stocked with soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, etc. We will not have lids on any trash cans at our facility.
Signs and Messages
CDC Suggestions: Posting signs about how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly use a cloth face 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).
Our Plan: We will post the signs provided by the CDC at the front entrance, the concession stand, in each bathroom, in pavilions and on the fence by the pool deck. Additional signage will include adapted aquatic safety rules and information regarding social distancing while swimming in the lanes and while waiting in line for the diving board or concession stand. We will be sure to encourage social distancing at the facility and remind patrons regularly, especially on busy days, to stay 6 feet apart. The background music we play includes periodic PSAs specific to COVID-19. Emails will be sent to the membership regarding behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19 and we will update our Facebook page regularly with relevant information for our members.
Maintaining Healthy Environments
To maintain healthy environments, operators of public aquatic venues may consider:
Cleaning and Disinfection
CDC Suggestions: Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects each time they are used. For example:
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
Our Plan: The manager or a delegated staff member will disinfect surfaces daily. The lifeguard transitioning from the lifeguard chair to the front desk will be responsible for disinfecting main pool benches and large pavilion picnic tables, as well as the restrooms, on their way to their next station. The lifeguard transitioning from the front desk to the lifeguard chair will be responsible for disinfecting the picnic tables in the small pavilion, concession stand and baby pool benches.
Consulting with the company or engineer that designed the aquatic venue to decide which List N disinfectants approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are best for your aquatic venue.
Setting up a system so that furniture (for example, lounge chairs) that needs to be cleaned and disinfected is kept separate from already cleaned and disinfected furniture.
Our Plan: Use a water and disinfecting bleach mixture for all cleaning needs. Clean chairs will be stacked by the check-in window and patrons will take from that stack when they come in. When they leave, the lifeguard will disinfect the chairs and return them to the stack.
Labeling containers for used equipment that has not yet been cleaned and disinfected and containers for cleaned and disinfected equipment.
Our Plan: Have a jar for clean pens and a jar for used ones. Do not provide sporting or swimming equipment that would be shared among members. Encourage staff to bring their own of every supply they need. Have staff disinfect any used materials from the first aid kit before returning them to the container.
Laundering towels and clothing according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water temperature and dry items completely.
Our Plan: Members bring their own towels for pool use. The manager will be responsible for laundering cloths and towels used by the facility. There will be a laundry bin in the office for used cloths.
Protecting shared furniture, equipment, towels, and clothing that has been cleaned and disinfected from becoming contaminated before use.
Our Plan: Clean chairs will be stacked by the fence away from patrons. Clean cloths will be separate from used ones. There will be no shared clothing at the facility.
Ensuring safe and correct use and storage of disinfectants, including storing products securely away from children.
Our Plan: Train staff on proper use and storage of disinfectants. Staff members will be the primary users of the disinfectants. If a patron wishes to use a disinfectant, there will be stations located behind the check-in window where a patron could go if they needed to use a disinfectant. The lifeguard or staff member must approve this member’s use of the materials as to ensure that they will be properly handled and only utilized by adults.
CDC Suggestions: Ensuring that ventilation systems of indoor spaces operate properly.
Increasing introduction and circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, or other methods. However, do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety risk to staff, patrons, or swimmers.
Our Plan: Our facility has only two indoor areas, one each a women’s and men’s restroom. These rooms are permanently vented with a window to the outside and both doors remain open during pool hours.
CDC Suggestions: Taking steps to ensure that all water systems (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains, hot tubs) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.
Our Plan: Drinking fountains will be turned off for the season. Both pools (wading and main) are properly filtered and chemically balanced (chlorinated) as required by health department regulations and as per the standard guidelines for safe pool operations.
Changing 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.
Our Plan: Surround the lifeguard chair with a red line to guide social distancing (6ft) from our staff. Post signs informing patrons of social distancing guidelines. Limit memberships so that we are not overloaded with patrons at any time at the facility. Place picnic tables at the concessions area 6ft apart. Baby pool limit 4 persons (one child or one adult and baby = 1 person).
Physical Barriers and Guides
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.
Our Plan: Place markers by the diving board, check-in window, and concession stand to indicate 6ft distance when waiting in line.
Staggering use of communal spaces (for example, in the water or breakroom), if possible, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects each time they are used.
Our Plan: Encourage patrons not to crowd bathrooms and limit them to 1 person at a time. The staff will disinfect bathrooms twice per hour.
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.
Our Plan: Kickboards will not be shared during sessions and will be adequately sanitized and dried between sessions. Chairs and picnic tables will be disinfected regularly per above.
Maintaining Healthy Operations
To maintain healthy operations, operators of public aquatic venues may consider:
Protections for Vulnerable Staff
Offering options such as telework or modified job responsibilities that reduce their risk of getting infected.
Limiting aquatic venue use to only staff, patrons, and swimmers who live in the local area, if feasible.
Our Plan: Each staff member understands and accepts the risk of coming on site and can, at any time, take an unpaid leave of absence and forfeit their shifts for the remainder of that period’s released schedule if they begin to feel uncomfortable with the risks involved in coming to the facility.
Lifeguards and Water Safety
Ensuring 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.
Our Plan: The Manager on Duty will have the responsibility of monitoring cloth face coverings and social distancing to the best of their ability from their station. The concessions worker will enforce the use of masks and social distancing in line and near the concessions area.
Alterations of Public Aquatic Venues
Consulting the company or engineer that designed the aquatic venue before altering aquatic features (for example, slides and structures designed for climbing or playing).
Our Plan: No physical alterations will be made to the pool.
Being aware of local or state regulatory agency policies on gathering requirements or recommendations to determine if events, such as aquatic fitness classes, swim lessons, swim team practice, swim meets, or pool parties can be held.
Our Plan: Group lessons, if offered, will be conducted as a parent/tot format where an adult from the learner’s household will enter the water and provide support for their swimmer. Otherwise lessons will be limited to private lessons to limit exposure.
Swim clinics will be conducted in accordance with CDC recommendations to allow for social distancing. Written protocols will be developed specifically for clinics.
Staggered or Rotated Shifts
Staggering or rotating shifts to limit the number of staff present at the aquatic venue at the same time.
Our Plan: No more than 5 staff members will ever be on duty at the same time. We have 1 lifeguard on from 11:30 – 7, one working 12:30-7:30. On days with extra work to be done we bring in on-call lifeguards for a maximum of 4 lifeguards working at any given time. The manager comes in daily to test the water and perform other essential duties.
Designated COVID-19 Point of Contact
Designating a staff member to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. All staff should know who this person is and how to contact him or her.
Our Plan: The manager will be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. The manager is always on-call and each staff and pool member has their contact information.
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.
Our Plan: We will advise against recreational activities that don’t allow for social distancing.
Putting systems in place for:
Having staff, patrons, and swimmers self-report if they have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
Notifying local health authorities of COVID-19 cases.
Notifying staff, patrons, and swimmers (as feasible) of potential COVID-19 exposures while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)external icon.
Notifying staff, patrons, and swimmers of aquatic venue closures.
Our Plan: The membership will be encouraged to self-report to the manager if they have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days. This information will be relayed to health authorities. The manager will be in regular contact with the membership and can update them on information regarding potential COVID-19 exposure and venue closures.
Implementing sick leave (time off) policies and practices for staff that are flexible and non-punitive.
Developing return-to-work policies aligned with CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.
Our Plan: A member of the staff can, at any time, request unpaid time off in the event that they become weary about the risk involved in coming to work. When they decide they would like to return, they may request to be put on the next unreleased schedule.
In the event that a staff member must call in sick, the reminder of their shifts for the current schedule period will be covered by available guards and the staff member may return for the upcoming schedule period provided they are no longer sick.
In the event that staff travels to one of the states designated by the PA Department of Health as high-infection-rate states, that individual will report the travel dates to the manager and self-quarantine for 14 days after returning home before returning to work. Alternatively, staff may provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test administered after returning from their travel in order to return to work before the 14 days has elapsed.
If staff comes in close contact with an individual who later tests positive for COVID-19, staff will report this to the manager. Staff will then self-quarantine for 14 days before being approved to return to work. Alternatively, staff may provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test administered after coming in contact with the positive individuals in order to return to work before the 14 days has elapsed.
Back-Up Staffing Plan
Monitoring absenteeism of staff and creating a roster of trained back-up staff.
Our Plan: In the event that a staff member cannot make it to work for any reason, we have all lifeguards’ contact information and the managers administer a group text message for such cases.
Training staff on all safety protocols.
Conducting training virtually or ensuring that social distancing is maintained during in-person training.
Our Plan: The manager will conduct a training session on-site which will include all old and new protocols. The manager will ensure that the staff stay 6 feet apart during this training session.
Recognize Signs and Symptoms
Conducting daily health checks (for example, temperature screening or symptom checking) of staff. Ensure safe and respectful implementation that is aligned with any applicable privacy laws and regulations.
Consider using examples of screening methods in CDC’s General Business FAQs as a guide.
Our Plan: Staff will have their temperature taken as they arrive for duty. Results of this screening will be recorded as Pass/Fail on a daily basis.
Preparing for When Someone Gets Sick
To prepare for when someone gets sick, operators of public aquatic venues may consider:
Isolating and transporting those who are sick to their home or a healthcare provider.
CDC Suggestions: Immediately separating staff, patrons, or swimmers with COVID-19 symptoms (for example, fever, cough, or shortness of breath).
Establishing procedures for safely transporting anyone sick to their home or to a healthcare provider.
Our Plan: Immediately separate staff, patrons, or swimmers from those with COVID-19 symptoms. Following our emergency action plan in the event that an ambulance is necessary. Otherwise, the patron will return home on their own or with the party they arrived with.
Notifying health officials and close contacts.
CDC Suggestions: Immediately notifying local health officials, staff, patrons, and swimmers of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Informing those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
Our Plan: Keep members, staff, and health officials informed in the case that any attendant tests positive for COVID-19. Provide members and staff with information on symptoms and encourage them to stay home if they have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.
Cleaning and Disinfection
CDC Suggestions: Closing off areas used by a sick person and not using the areas until after cleaning and disinfecting them.
Waiting more than 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting these areas. Ensuring safe and correct use and storage of EPA-approved List N disinfectants, including storing products securely away from children.
Our Plan: Use a water and disinfecting bleach mixture to clean any area used by a sick person after waiting at least 24 hours since their last use. Close off the area until then.