By Reach for the Wall Staff
After a frustrating couple of days in Montgomery County MD, we’ve mustered the energy to give an update on the situation and some of the positives we’ve seen in our swimming community.
Outdoor pools in Northern Virginia have the green light to open this weekend (if they’ve passed inspection)!! The pools can be open for lap swimming only and no more than 10 at a time. From the State of Virginia website (https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia/#856436):
We’ve seen several NoVa clubs on their websites and Twitter announce their opening:
We plan to open the pool on Saturday for lap swim only. The state and county guidance for Phase 1 reopening strictly limits access to the pool to lap swimmers only.
— Hunter Mill Swim & Racquet Club (@HMSRC) May 28, 2020
CST Pool Opening Reminder: As of now, we are basing our timing on when Fairfax County is expected to enter into Phase I of the Forward Virginia Plan. As such, we expect our limited opening to be no later than June 11th.
— Chesterbrook Pool (@CST_Pool) May 28, 2020
On Monday May 25th, David Arluck (Fitter and Faster), Tom Ugast (NCAP), Paris Jacobs (Machine), David Marsh (Team Elite, San Diego) and Mike Murray (Victor Swim Club, Rochester NY) held a Webcast to discuss policies and procedures for reopening that will need to be in place when teams are able to get back in the water. Tom & NCAP have developed a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for returning to facilities for practice, that can and should be adopted by any club planning their return. Further in the Webcast Paris mentioned an effort to lobby local and Federal Government to provide information regarding the difference between recreational activities and teaching/training to advocate that pools should be opened to provide opportunities for clubs to return to teaching/training. Here’s the letter to Governor Hogan:
The letter to the President is shorter, but was endorsed by many Olympians and a ‘Who’s Who’ of coaches and leaders in USA Swimming:
May 27th, Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, made the announcement that Maryland has entered Phase 1 reopening, including outdoor pools at 25% capacity:
An excerpt from the Department of Health Guidance:
The ‘Not so ‘ Positives:
Local leaders in Montgomery County, Prince George’s and Washington DC, have excluded outdoor pools as part of the Phase 1 plan. Washington DC has pools listed within their Phase 3 reopening plan:
Montgomery and Prince George’s county have not outlined when pools will be included. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles held their press conference yesterday (5/28) with the following Phase 1 guide:
Evidently, the message did not reach Marc Elrich that pools can be operated in a manner that will reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19. We are hopeful he will reconsider in the coming days as success stories will be abound from Northern Virginia and other parts of Maryland that are opening this weekend.
Last, we will share a message from David Arluck that he posted to his Facebook page:
When your pool is ready for reopening, reach out to him: firstname.lastname@example.org and see if Fitter and Faster can assist to supplement your operating budget!