By Foss Swim School
Read about our COVID Safety First Plan here
We’re so happy to welcome swimmers back to our pools! As we, like all of you, have navigated 2020 our first thoughts have been to wish a speedy and full recovery to any afflicted, and to do what we can to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
We also have been consulting with health experts and studying official guidelines – and thinking about how the principles behind them apply to our specific situation, so we can offer even greater safety where possible – and have developed a comprehensive set of guidelines and standards of cleanliness for the operation of our schools – you can read more about our Safety First Plan here.
To give you a little more insight into our thoughts on swimming and swimming lessons in 2020, we wanted to share some of the questions we have been hearing from parents and our answers to them.
- Is it really that important to have a swim school open right now?
We believe it is – and we don’t believe it’s an either/or choice between helping your kids be safer around water and helping your kids be safer from a virus. In the summer months, kids are going to be around water more (perhaps more than usual, with the increased interest in boating and outdoor water activities.) Wherever kids and water mix, it’s important that they have the skills they need to be as safe as possible.
That means water safety training and knowing what to do after falling in the water for smaller kids, and knowing how to swim confidently and reach safety for older kids and adults. The need to learn swimming doesn’t mean COVID safety isn’t vital, of course, and we’re taking steps to ensure a safer environment for our swimmers and families through updated operations and policies at our schools.
- Does chlorinated water kill the coronavirus?
Researchers have found the virus can’t survive in chlorinated water (and isn’t known to transmit through any water according to the CDC.) That’s good news, of course, since the movement of water in our pools and our top-of-the-line water filtration means the virus has little opportunity to get from person to person in the pool itself. Like at the grocery store, there are precautions we can take outside the water and that’s where many of our policies and updated operations are focused.
- Are there group classes?
Available classes vary by location. All locations are teaching private and semi-private classes (one or two students with one teacher) and some have full group classes, with up to four or five students with one teacher. Fortunately, our cohort teaching model – kids swim with the same teacher and the same small group of kids each week – reduces exposure to new people over the duration of the quarter.
- What are your other COVID-related health procedures?
In a nutshell, our policies include screening employees and asking students and families to self-screen; following mask mandates and strongly recommending their use elsewhere (and requiring them on employees); smaller or fewer classes per hour, increasing availability for private or semi-private lessons; limiting the number of people in the building; limiting the time they spend there (including shorter lessons in previously longer classes); taking steps to ensure social distancing (one-way traffic through the school, closing lanes and spacing out the available changing stalls and showers); and a robust and frequent cleaning regimen. Our full and updated list of policies can be found on our Safety First page here. Safety protocols may vary by location, depending on state mandates. Please check with your local FOSS location for specific details.
- Is it safe to go to public beaches or pools?
While there have been news stories about viral spread at beaches, the only thing that makes public swimming more likely is because they are popular and more likely to attract crowds. Needless to say, please consider not going to a pool or beach where the factors increasing transmission are present: large crowds, difficulty maintaining distance, people without face coverings when they are close, and the tendency to spend long times in proximity. If you see those things anywhere, avoid that place.
But if you have a controlled area, like at a Foss Swim School, where you can swim without the risks of crowds, swimming is a great way to stay active and healthy and safer around the water. It builds strength and stamina, is a great cardiopulmonary workout, and it can help you beat the heat too!
We look forward to a time when we can go back to full-sized classes, pools and helping even more kids learn to be safer in and around the water. In the meanwhile, we’re doing everything we can to help get kids in the pool – more safely – and play our role in helping reduce the spread of the coronavirus for the good of our families, employees and communities.
If you have any further questions, please reach out to your local Foss Swim School to learn more about any special measures or opportunities to swim. Keep swimming when you can do so safely, and we hope to see you at the pool!
We’re ready when you are.
Fall Enrollment is NOW OPEN for small group, private and semi private classes. Swimming starts September 9, 2020. View Classes Now.