COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Guidance: Requirements for Public Pools
Public pool requirements
Public pools may be open to all users, provided that the elements found in this guidance document are addressed in an organization’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
Occupancy of public pool enclosures must not exceed 25% of the normal occupant capacity as established by state or local authorities in accordance with applicable codes and requirements, not to exceed 250 people.
Additionally, a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing for patrons from different households is required while in the pool and while on the deck (for example, while preparing to enter the pool or waiting in line for a slide).
If a pool is located within a place of public accommodation with limited occupancy, such as a fitness center, the occupants of a pool must be counted toward the overall occupancy of the place of public accommodation.
Spa pools may open, but steam rooms and saunas must remain closed until further notice.
COVID-19 Preparedness Plans
All public pools must develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in accordance with applicable guidance.
Public pools must address all the guidance requirements applicable to their operations in their COVID-19 Preparedness Plans.
The Plan must be evaluated, monitored, executed, and updated under the supervision of a designated Plan Administrator within your business or organization. The Plan must be posted on site in an easily accessible location (or distributed to staff electronically) to allow for the Plan to be readily reviewed by all staff, as required.
Hot tubs and spas:
Legionella concerns Extended closures of hot tubs and spas can increase the risk of waterborne diseases such as Legionnaires’ disease. Legionella is the organism that causes Legionnaire’s Disease and Pontiac Fever. It is important to ensure hot tubs and spas are safe to use and minimize the transmission of Legionella and other bacteria.
Planning for reopening
Planning for reduced capacity Occupancy of public pool enclosures must not exceed 25% of the normal occupant capacity as established by state or local authorities in accordance with applicable codes and requirements, not to exceed 250 people.
Additionally, a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing for each patron from different households is required while in the pool, and while on the deck (for example, while preparing to enter the pool or waiting in line for a slide).
Lobby and locker rooms
Consider staggering entry of users and establish time limits to maximize the number of users while maintaining capacity limits
● Ensure 6 feet of social distancing is maintained at all times in locker rooms, lobbies, and other areas outside of the pool or pool deck.
● Establish safe places for guests to wait for entry.
● Install sanitizing stations at the entrance to your facility and at key locations throughout the facility where customers are likely to contact shared equipment. If hand sanitizer is provided, ensure it contains at least 60% alcohol.
● Do not allow guests to congregate while waiting for access. Consider using floor markings, outdoor distancing, waiting in cars, or other techniques to maintain adequate separation.
Identify and post additional signage, including for:
● Capacity and social distancing
● Masks and face coverings
● Reminders to wash hands and practice good personal hygiene
● Location of handwashing and sanitizing stations
● Instructions on how to identify symptoms of COVID-19
● Information about being excluded if people or household members are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19
Emergency protocols and other safety considerations
Evaluate COVID-19 impact on rescue protocol:
● Ensure adequate supply and reliable source of personal protective equipment (PPE).
● Evaluate and revise CPR protocol as needed (example: acquire bag valve mask to eliminate the need for mouth to mouth resuscitation).
● Have staff treat any emergency victim as COVID-19 positive until otherwise determined.