Open Pools for Regulated Lap Swimming in California

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The pools in California should open for lap swimming by the beginning of June.  Organized swimming is an integral part of our state, and swimming in general provides physical and mental health benefits that are critical for many of our members, especially during the summer.

School is out shortly for most counties, and there will be many children who need outlets for safe exercise and participation in a sport that keeps them busy, grounded, and engaged with like-minded athletes and supervised by coaches.  There are also many people, including those with disabilities, for whom swimming is their only safe form of exercise.

It has been well established by the CDC that “there is no evidence that Covid-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs.”  Further, the effect of the chlorine does not stop at the water surface.  Swimmers inhale above the water and exhale below, and any breathing that a swimmer does is through the nose or mouth, which have been effectively washed with chlorine. 

The majority of swim teams and pools have already planned for the safety of swimmers and coaches by following the CDC, OSHA, and USA Swimming guidelines, including the closure of locker rooms and mandatory social distancing.  There is no shared equipment.  Coaches are available on-site to monitor for compliance.  The risk of transmission is improbable and less so than on a golf course, skate park, or tennis court. 

Pools on high school or university properties should be open even if schools are closed for classes.  There is an enormous difference between many students in classrooms in close proximity and fewer kids or adults exercising in an outdoor environment with safety measures in place and supervision. 

This petition does not apply to public pools used by families for picnics and water play.  It does not apply to teams that cannot accommodate appropriate distance and safety modifications for various reasons.  It is limited to pools devoted exclusively toward regulated swimming until the health crisis abates.