Reopening Pools: Preventing Virus Spread

HOA’s from coast to coast are deciding the next best steps in reopening their amenities. From laundry rooms to basketball courts and playgrounds to barbecue stations, HOA’s are seeing what they can do to limit the coronavirus spread among their community members. One way in which they are closely examining COVID-19 in their communities is through reopening pools.

HOA pool closures spread throughout the United States as the coronavirus intensified. With pool safety in mind, HOA’s needed to act fast to mitigate the virus as much as possible. And with the second wave of COVID-19 making its way through the country, HOA’s are weighing their options in reopening pools in the first place.

For those who are reopening pools or are planning to in the next few weeks, community association managers and boards of directors are responding to residents’ concerns about being able to maintain social distancing and safety as crowds gather.

The Community Associations Institute created a Healthy Communities guide, adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to help board members, community managers, and business partners determine how to safely operate in a world that has been changed for the foreseeable future by COVID-19.

How HOA’s Can Reopen Pools Safely

The CDC recommends several considerations for the safety of those who operate, manage, and use pools in HOA’s as well as water playgrounds and hot tubs.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Limit pool use to only staff and residents. Restrict the number of people allowed in pools and hot tubs and locker rooms so that everyone can stay at least six feet from each other.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, including locker handles, light switches, knobs, countertops, benches, and more. This should be done daily, if not several times per day.
  • Ensure proper operation and maintenance of pools and hot tubs and disinfect them with chlorine.
  • Ensure that lifeguards who are working are expected to monitor handwashing, social distancing, and face masks.
  • Familiarize local and state policies that list specific requirements or recommendations to determine if events, including swim lessons and swim team practices, can be held.
  • Avoid group events, gatherings, or meetings both in and out of water. There are exceptions to social distancing, however, and they can include providing first aid or performing CPR.
  • If planned events must be conducted, they should include staggered drop-offs and pickup times as much as possible to maintain social distancing.
  • Disclose any suspected or known COVID-19 cases to local health authorities and notify patrons, staff, and swimmers of potential exposures.

While not every risk related to spreading COVID-19 can be anticipated, following these steps can help HOAs keep their communities safe during the summer.

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