Return Water Polo to Oregon Pools

Return Water Polo to Oregon Pools

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Tricia Glad started this petition to Governor Kate Brown

High school water polo competitions are mostly played in heavily chlorinated water regardless if they are indoor or outdoor, where the players are mostly submerged.  Their faces are thoroughly doused every few seconds, and are often underwater.  Unfortunately, Oregon has simply lumped Water Polo into the contact sport category without any additional consideration regarding the environment in which it is played.  Evidence from other states and abroad demonstrates that COVID-19 is highly unlikely to be transmitted during games.  This misclassification threatens the opportunity of having a 2021 season.

1.   Experiences in Other High Risk States High school seasons were played in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Texas, mostly in smaller indoor pools. Nationwide, tens of thousands of athletes have played water polo without a single reported transmission. As a result, Illinois and Ohio will permit water polo for spring indoor seasons.

2.   International Scientific Studies. Italy was hardest hit by COVID’s initial impact. Its oldest technical university, Polytechnic Institute of Turin, issued a 400-page study of 387 sports. Water polo was the safest team sport. Similarly, the Spanish Swimming Federation issued a technical paper arguing, “A well- maintained swimming pool is sanitary safe” from COVID-19. The Dutch University Medical center of Ultrecht provided evidence that chlorine inactivated COVID-19. Swimming Canada tracked over 282,000 individual mostly indoor swim training sessions without a single reported pool transmission.

3.   CDC Guidance. “There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of swimming pools…or aquatic play areas.”

4.    WHO Guidance. “There is limited risk of significant microbial contamination and illness in a well-managed pool or similar environment with an adequate residual disinfectant concentration.”

5.    Chlorine Gas. The effect of chlorine is not limited to the water. Droplets and gas disinfect the surface of the water column, according to the British Sports Medicine Journal and National Institute of Health.

6.    Travel Tournaments. Indoor youth tournaments in Utah and Texas have hosted over five thousand athletes this winter with no reported transmissions. Oregon athletes have taken part in these tournaments.

Other states and countries have concluded that youth sport games are uncorrelated to COVID hospitalizations. The risks are outside the water. Governor Brown, if you open the sport, operational risks will be mitigated, the looming destruction of Oregon’s aquatic ecosystem can be avoided, and our mentally exhausted, isolated athletes will return to thrive in home waters.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!