Supplement Feature - January 2022
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Calmer Waters

The 2022 Aquatic Trends Report

By Emily Tipping

COVID-19 Mitigation Measures

While many of us were surely hopeful that the summer of 2021 would bring an end to the widespread closures and perhaps even many of the measures deployed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the rise of the delta variant, along with a wave of infections that persisted throughout the summer put an end to that possibility.

That said, while more than one-fifth (22.3%) of respondents in 2020 did not open their aquatic facilities at all, in 2021, just 3.2% of respondents said they did not open their aquatic facilities for the season. What's more, two-thirds (66.7%) of respondents in 2021 said they had opened their facilities according to their regular schedule, dwarfing the 17.3% who opened on a regular schedule in 2020. (See Figure 27.)

When asked about measures they had taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at their facilities, the vast majority of respondents to the Aquatic Trends survey—92.8%—said they had deployed at least one of the strategies covered.

Schools were the most likely to have taken measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In fact, 100% of school respondents said they had taken at least one measure to help stop the spread at their facilities. They were followed by Ys (98.4%) and colleges (97%).

The most common measures taken included capacity limits (deployed by 30% of respondents) and social distancing measures (21.7%). Another 19.5% said they were doing more cleaning at their facilities to help prevent the spread of illness, and 8.2% were limiting the programming offered at their facilities. (See Figure 28.)

Schools were the most likely to report that they had limited capacity, with 40.9% indicating they had done so. They were followed by camps, where 38.5% of respondents said they had limited capacity at their aquatic facilities to help control COVID-19. Social distancing requirements were most likely to be implemented by respondents from rec centers (27.3%) and Ys (27%). Additional cleaning measures were most likely to be found at rec centers, where 27.3% said they had done more cleaning to help mitigate the spread of the disease. They were followed by parks (24.1%).