Safely Re-Open Pools in BC ASAP!

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Dear Aquatic Users and User Groups,

We are asking that public patrons in B.C.’s Municipalities ask your local Mayors, Councillors, and Parks and Recreation Managers to advocate for and open both indoor and outdoor public swimming pools once the Public Health Officer deems it appropriate.

Swimming pools in various parts of the world (USA, Australia, to name a few) are starting to open up their facilities to user groups and the public. There is speculation in communities that municipalities will delay or not open pools until September or even longer even when deemed possible by the Public Health Agency (PHA) in order to save money from the operation of a swimming pool. Municipalities may hide behind COVID-19 safety concerns and may not publicly say the real reason that pools are not re-opening. Taxpayers in a community should not be denied pools in order for Municipalities to balance budgets and save on spending.

Even with modified allotment of users in pools, there is a significant value and benefit of having swimming pools open. Swimming pools are one of the biggest destinations for individuals, families, and user groups. Engaging in aquatic activities provide countless benefits to physical and mental health.

According to the US CDC, BC and Yukon Lifesaving Society (LSS)Vacouver Coastal Health (VCH), COVID-19 does not spread through swimming pools provided they are properly treated and disinfected.  Many athletic facilities are re-opening – and we are seeing the return to fitness in many gyms, parks, and fields. Swimming Pools should not be left behind in this re-opening.

In the document provided above by LSS and VCH, there are methods to be able to manage set-up in order to adhere to social distancing measures.  A few on the examples include:

  1. Having a time slot for user groups and the public. For example, individual users can have a 50 minute time block. In between blocks, lifeguards and/or staff can disinfect the facility and get ready for the next block of users. 
  2. Swimming 1 or 2 swimmers per lane in order to maintain the social distance of each customer.
  3. Post signs warning that if patrons have compromised immune systems or are feeling unwell, they should return home.  Enter the pools from one direction and exit from another.
  4. Arrive and leave the pool in your bathing suits.

If you are an aquatic user/user group and would like to see the pools open as soon as PHA deems appropriate, please help this cause by electronically signing this petition with your name, address, and date! In addition, we hope you send an email to your mayor and council to let them know your feelings using this template. The pools are the taxpayers to use and not to be used as money saving for municipalities.

Open swimming pools as soon as the PHA allows it without delay! The public (taxpayers) who utilize the pools will undoubtably benefit from pools re-opening!

The signing of this petition and emailing to your local mayor and council should occur as soon as possible as the BC Recreation and Parks Association and ViaSport (BC Sporting Agency) are announcing their Return to Sport plan soon.  

Please share this information with your friends, family, and anyone you know that can benefit from this.

Thank you for your support.

Concerned Aquatic Users in B.C.