Recreation Management - Ideas and Solutions for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

May 2020


CDC Issues Guidance for Aquatic Venues During COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its "Considerations for Public Pools, Hot Tubs and Water Playgrounds During COVID-19," which likely will become the basis for reopening guidelines provided by local public health officials, according to the World Waterpark Association (WWA).

The guidelines, posted on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/parks-rec/aquatic-venues.html, are aimed at public aquatic venues operated by city or county governments, apartment complexes, membership clubs such as gyms, schools, waterparks and homeowners associations. While decisions about implementing the guidelines will be made locally in collaboration with local health officials, the guidelines offer a good idea of what to expect. The CDC states, "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."

Recommendations for public aquatic venues include:

  • Strategies to encourage healthy hygiene, including hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, cloth face coverings, educating staff and patrons on when to stay home, ensuring there are adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene, and providing messaging to promote healthy behaviors.
  • Strategies to maintain healthy environments, including cleaning and disinfection, ventilation, water systems, modified layouts of deck spaces to ensure individuals can maintain a 6-foot distance, and more.
  • Strategies to maintain healthy operations, including protections for vulnerable staff, guidance for lifeguards and water safety, regulatory awareness, staggered shifts, communications plan, staffing plans to ensure leave for sick staff members, staff training and more.

Operators of public aquatic venues also should have a plan in place for when someone gets sick.

For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/parks-rec/aquatic-venues.html.


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