Dear Clients & Colleagues,
I first started receiving calls on Friday about COVID-19 and swimming pools. Here we are on Sunday night, and doesn't that seem like a lifetime ago?
In these rapidly changing times, I think it's important to remember the basics: Swimming pools are not essential services. Swimming as an activity invites kinship and close bodily contact at odds with the social distancing required to slow this pandemic. Therefore, swimming pools and water amenities should not be open - period.
I'm not talking about only closing large public facilities that bring 250 people together, I'm talking about all swimming pools (including hot tubs) and all water amenities (including steam rooms, water slides, spray parks, splash pads, plunge pools, etc.) of all sizes in all locations (hotels, apartment buildings, swim schools, therapy clinics, day spas, gyms, etc.) for the foreseeable future.
Why? I have two posts on Instagram that I strongly encourage you to read: here & here (you don't need an account or profile). They are also posted below.
The TL;DR is that - in my opinion - people are taking the CDC information that water is unlikely to spread COVID-19 far too literally. There is no certainty; we have no real data. Walt Disney World (WDW) Resorts is world-renowned for its service, and they have closed effective immediately.
It's not an abundance of caution to close your pool, it's basic common sense as a pool operator.
Please also remember - when push comes to shove - and a boss is trying to justify not doing something that will result in a loss of revenue (i.e. staying open), in many jurisdictions YOU, the pool operator, is ultimately more responsible for the health & safety of the public in your swimming pool than the general manager or owner who lacks proper pool training. If you wouldn't swim in it, close it.
Lastly, it is vital that pool operators and managers remember that the swimming pools is also a workplace, and our staff are just at risk of illness as our customers.
Do yourself a favour and close for at least three weeks - no need to wait by the phone and reassess. Set the expectation for your customers that they should not expect a change any sooner, and this buys you some precious time to get caught up on admin that we never have time for.
If you need any help or support, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will help in any way that I can.