AEA wants to keep you updated with the latest information for reopening pool facilities, so read on – and click through the links – to find out the latest from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC):
As public aquatic venues open in some areas, CDC has released COVID-19 considerations for public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds. This resource can be accessed here.
These considerations were developed for the safety of those who operate, manage, and use public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds, and include:
- Promoting behaviors that prevent the spread of covid-19
- Maintaining healthy environments
- Maintaining healthy operations
- Preparing for when someone gets sick
Please remember that all decisions about implementing these considerations should be made locally, in collaboration with local health officials.
CDC also has other helpful guidance for keeping yourself safe from COVID-19:
Thank you for all you are doing to promote the public’s health during this time.
Policy and Partnerships Unit
Coronavirus Disease – 2019 (COVID – 19) Response
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
AEA also has received lots of requests for teaching tips and helpful hints to safely implement aquatic fitness classes, so the following are ideas that may help you plan and prepare.
- Once you have your rules and regulations in place – realize these may change as new information is made available – be sure to post throughout the facility/pool area, make available through your social media outlets, announce during each class and provide copies to each student as a reminder. This is the perfect time to remind participants of all aspects of class etiquette.
- As per CDC guidelines above, it is advisable to limit equipment use per class to reduce the time spent disinfecting equipment after the class and help prevent cross-contamination.
- Now may be the time to encourage participants to purchase their own small aquatic equipment such as gloves, bands/loops/tubing, noodles and hand bars, which they take home with them after each class. Gloves, in particular, are extremely versatile for all types of training, from the AEA AFAP classes to high intensity workouts, and are affordable for participants to purchase from AEA Sponsor, H2O Wear, or from other sources, such as Amazon.
- Circuit training is an excellent class format, but it would be advisable to offer instructor guided formats rather than self-guided formats that require participants to move as small groups and use equipment posted at various stations around the pool perimeter. This will limit the amount of equipment used per class, prevent multiple people touching the same piece of equipment during a class, and help ensure proper social distancing.
- Make sure to follow the CDC guidelines above to ensure proper disinfecting of equipment after each use.
- To maintain proper social distancing throughout class, aquatic fitness professionals will need to consider other aspects of class formatting as well.
- Once you have participants in proper positioning, you will need to help them be able to remain in their designated position. As mentioned by the CDC, this can be assisted by the use of lane lines; you may also want to place markers on the pool deck.
- More stationary, as compared to traveling, activities may be warranted. Limited traveling as a group may be feasible if you pool layout can accommodate but avoid traveling across the pool that would require lines to cross – bringing individuals too close to one another.
- Partner and team activities that require individuals to touch or to be in close formations will not be appropriate for the immediate future. There are options for social distancing activities, such as partners remaining in designated spaces but encouraging one another to accomplish designated goals.
- To accommodate the maximum number of participants, you may need to adjust schedules to include more classes that are shorter in duration. For example, instead of a single 1-hour class, you could offer two 30-minute classes or two 40-45-minute classes, which will double the number of participants. Many individuals will need to begin back at a lower level of training after being away from class for an extended time, so this will also allow participants to safely progress back up to regular training levels.
- Due to the likely high demand for classes, scheduling may require different registration guidelines to limit the number of individuals in the pool at a given time and to allow as many different individuals to participate as possible.
- Instead of unlimited access to all classes, you may need to limit participation to a designated number of classes per week and then provide ideas/opportunities for members to complete safe self-workouts at home on the other days.
- Or, you may need to implement some method of advance reservation per class.
- AEA does recommend the use of aquatic fitness shoes during shallow-water impacting classes. Clean aquatic shoes should be brought to class and put on before entering the pool (NOT worn to class where they pick up dirt and other contaminants from the parking lot, registration areas, etc.)