The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided new guidance for aquatics facilities looking to reopen.
The CDC is recommending the following for pool operators, as well as swimmers:
- All pool attendees are encouraged to wear a mask.
- Group gatherings should be avoided, and if they must be conducted, pool crews are encouraged to stagger drop off and pickup times.
- Deck layouts should be modified to promote social distancing.
- Lifeguards should not be tasked with enforcing social distancing.
- Furniture, towel and other pool equipment should be cleaned frequently.
- Swimmers are required to stay six feet apart from anyone that they don’t live with.
- Swimmers are encouraged to refrain from sharing equipment like goggles and swim caps.
The CDC also noted on its website that it does not have 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.
However, the new guidelines are meant to keep the entirety of the pool environment and those who use the facility safe.
"All decisions about implementing these considerations should be made locally, in collaboration with local health officials," the CDC said on its website. "Operators of public aquatic venues can consult with local officials to determine if and how to implement these considerations while adjusting them to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local jurisdiction. Their implementation should also be informed by what is feasible, practical, and acceptable."