A Must-Have Checklist to Reopen Swimming Pools This Summer
COVID-19 has not been kind to most businesses. Least of all those that involve a gathering of people.
However, more than two years in, it is safe to say that swimming pool facilities have been making an effort to recreate the atmosphere their members once enjoyed.
Swimming pools, both public pools and private, have always had to follow a long list of rules to ensure safety and well-being. The COVID-19 norms only expanded the checklist for facility managers. Even as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirms that no evidence has been found to suggest that COVID-19 spreads through swimming pools or hot tubs, the organization continues to maintain a set of guidelines designed to prevent the spread of the virus within pool facilities.
So, how do you recreate the best experience for your members for summer-long without sacrificing these safety and hygiene measures that are so essential today?
To help out pool owners, we have prepared a checklist so you can reopen your swimming pool successfully this summer season with all the protocols in place.
Pool Reopening Checklist
- Social distancing
- Temperature checks
- Online waivers and COVID-19 self-declaration forms
- Disinfecting surfaces
- Hand sanitizers
- Face coverings/Masks
- Ventilation and Air Filtration
Let us now explore the checklist in detail to ensure a smooth and safe swimming pool experience for your members!
1. Social Distancing
Six feet apart - that is the mantra. It can be challenging when operating a space that involves a lot of people allowed inside. However, technology can come to your rescue.
Omnify’s Pool Reservation Software helps your members book their slots in advance, so there is no crowding at the reception. It also helps to know exactly how many people are expected at a given time so that you may plan accordingly well before the swimming pool opens. This will also help maintain social distancing around the pool deck during any given session. It also allows businesses to set up contactless means of check-ins as a touch-less alternative to entering a facility. Omnify’s QR Check-ins feature not only helps in moving the queue faster but is a modern-day solution to regulate scheduled visits as well.
Additionally, the CDC guidelines offer a few suggestions that could help maintain social distancing at your swimming pool. Placing visual cues and putting up physical barriers in the form of chairs and tables will encourage members to maintain their distance more comfortably. Restricting the number of people who can use shared spaces like the showers or restrooms at any given time will also help maintain social distancing and reduce each person's risk of infection.
To know more, Read QR Check-ins: Contactless, self check-ins for your clients
2. Temperature Checks
Equip your pool staff with infrared thermometers and teach them the right way to use these devices. The receptionists must record members' temperatures before entering the pool area and ensure that the numbers are recorded.
Periodic checks must also be undertaken to record any sudden changes in body temperature. Capacity Management will help ease the burden of work on your staff's shoulders so they can take on the added responsibility without feeling overwhelmed.
3. Online Waivers and COVID-19 Self-Declaration Forms
Omnify Pool Reservation Software also provides businesses with a COVID-19 Self-Declaration Form that all visitors would need to fill up at the time of booking to ensure the safety of both visitors and staff while you open your pool. You can use this form to collect each member's recent travel history, any history with the virus, and their vaccination status, among other vital details.
Additionally, Omnify provides another touchless alternative to paper waivers for businesses. The feature of online waivers reduces liabilities on businesses as customers have to accept business policies prior to using the services. Also, it is pretty straightforward how it allows faster check-ins, which means making the job easier for your staff and lesser waiting time for your visitors.
4. Disinfecting Surfaces
The pool facility is a common area with many surfaces where people come into regular contact. Disinfecting has never been as crucial as it is now. All commonly touched surfaces must be disinfected with quality disinfectants from time to time. It is recommended that you pay special attention to the pool area and changing rooms where there is a greater possibility of surface infections. Disinfecting the pool water from time to time will also ensure safety within the pool.
Additionally, you can ask clients to arrive swim-ready to encourage limited use of locker rooms and changing areas to facilitate adequate social distancing measures. You can think of as many safety guidelines you want to set for clients regarding pool usage, say what accessories they need to bring, etc. With the Pool Reservation System, you can also block a fixed time between two slots for disinfecting and cleaning the entire facility, an essential step in these times.
5. Hand Sanitizers
Hand sanitizers are as important as your keys. Every visitor to your swimming club must have ready access to a sanitizer at all times, even if they may not have one on them.
This means making arrangements for sanitizer stands at strategic places, making it convenient for the people to locate and use them whenever required. Do not forget that sanitizer bottles have to be refilled as required. Opting for a Pool Scheduling System helps track the number of people anticipated at any given time slot so the sanitizers can be refilled to match the demand.
6. Face Coverings / Masks
Masks are among your first line of defense against the COVID-19 virus. It is your responsibility to ensure that every person at the pool facility- the staff and the visitors - wears a mask at all times when not in water.
We know and understand that enforcing such discipline is easier said than done. But when the safety of everyone is concerned, it is better to be safe than sorry. The CDC guidelines suggest encouraging everyone to wear masks indoors and anywhere outside the water. We also recommend stocking up on masks at the reception for those who may need them.
Vaccinations may not prevent the spread of COVID-19, but they certainly help minimize the impact of the virus once you're infected. The CDC guidelines recommend encouraging your facility staff to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves more effectively against the virus. You could also encourage your members to get vaccinated and maintain data on vaccinations through the COVID-19 Self-Declaration Forms shared with them during the slot booking process.
8. Ventilation and Air Filtration
Ventilation can play a key role in minimizing the spread of COVID-19 at your facility. If you're managing an indoor space, this can be particularly crucial in ensuring the safety of your staff and members within the facility.
According to the CDC, it is important to manage your indoor air handling systems effectively and on regular basis. This means keeping a close eye on your exhaust fans and the ventilation set up within your facility. You can also maximize the amount outdoor air entering your facility through your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.
Additionally, ensure you maintain a robust air filtration system with regular inspections of the entire system and a frequent replacement of filters. This will help you maintain a clean and regular airflow within your facility at all times.
Running a business is no mean feat. Add to that, running a facility that involves a gathering of people in the new normal is even more difficult.
What is needed now is to think on your feet and exercise due diligence while making decisions.
Not only that, but with the right technology such as Pool Scheduling Software with its features such as Membership Management, Contactless Check-ins, and Advanced Booking, you can ensure your members have a safe and memorable time at the pool.
Onwards and upwards!
As swimming pools are all set to reopen this summer 2021, Omnify provides a Checklist of must-haves to help pool facilities breeze through the New Normal.