For pools

These guidelines will assist pool operators in continuing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as reopening occurs. There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread directly to humans from water in pools, hot tubs or spas, or water play areas. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection of pools, hot tubs or spas, and water playgrounds should kill the virus that causes COVID-19. It is important for individuals, as well as owners and operators, of these facilities to take steps to ensure health and safety.

General Guidance

Limit re-opening customer occupancy:

  • Pools must limit the total number of customers to 25% of occupancy provided physical distancing of 6 feet can be maintained. If 6 feet cannot be maintained, the maximum allowed will be limited to the number of customers spaced 6 feet apart. (see social distancing below for more information)
  • Consider scheduling blocks of time for maximum number of allowed patrons in the pool area.
  • Build in additional time for cleaning and disinfecting between blocks of pool time. 
    • Example:    10:00-11:30am – Open Swim 20 patrons
                         11:30-12:00pm – Cleaning/Disinfecting
                         12:00-1:30pm – Open Swim 20 patrons
                         1:30-2:00pm – Cleaning/Disinfecting
  • Click here to view guidance on how to calculate bather load. 

Public Pools:

  • Screen employees for symptoms.
  • Post signage outside the entrances that states that any customer who has symptoms of COVID-19 should not enter.
  • Make hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available throughout the facility.  
  • Mark off 6-foot areas on the deck to promote physical distancing. 
  • Post signage directing customers to shower before entering the pool.
  • Remove chairs and require customers to bring their own. OR Consider developing a protocol for placing responsibility of disinfection of pool chairs and equipment on patrons if staff cannot complete this task.
  • Food service areas and concessions should be marked such that those waiting in line are spaced 6 feet apart. Staff taking payments should practice good hand hygiene by using hand sanitizer between each customer.
  • Staff working in concession areas should space themselves 6 feet apart.  If such spacing is not possible, the use of cloth face coverings should be implemented.
  • Indoor pools should eliminate the use of low ventilated spaces and rooms that prevent physical distancing, such as locker rooms.

Private or Semi-Private Pools:

  • Develop messaging and signage for both private and semi-private pools indicating that individuals should not use the pool if they have symptoms.
  • Practice physical distancing of 6 feet in all areas of the deck. 
  • Make hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available throughout the facility.  

Lap pools/competitive swimming:

  • Screen athletes prior to competition. Refer to Recreation Guidelines.
  • Develop messaging and signage for athletes indicating that individuals should not use the pool if they have symptoms.
  • Limit the number of spectators, athletes and staff to no more than 25% of building occupancy.
  • Practice physical distancing of 6 feet in all areas for both the pool and the deck.
  • Make hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available throughout the facility.
  • For more detailed information, please visit this website:  USA Swimming

Employee Health Guidance

  • Screen employees upon arrival to work for symptoms.
    • Design a protocol for reporting self-monitoring before beginning shift.
    • Use touchless thermometers to check temperatures before shift.
  • Require employees to stay home if they are sick or be sent home if they report to work with a fever.
  • Individuals at high-risk should continue to remain at home and not interact with others.
  • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and follow CDC recommended precautions.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidance

  • Establish a schedule for frequent cleaning of restrooms and changing areas.
  • Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces of activity areas. (door handles, deck chairs, tables, ladders, support rails, pool toys, floaties, etc.)
  • Consider closing the pool area during scheduled periods of the day for complete cleaning, disinfecting and water chemical levels.
    • When disposable wipes or other disinfecting products are not available, most common household disinfectants such as a 10% bleach solution, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol and most common EPA-registered products that states it kills viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on bottle.
    • Chlorine solutions should be prepared fresh each day.
    • Bleach solutions and other disinfectants should be applied using a spray bottle and disposable paper towels while wearing gloves.
    • Treated surfaces must be allowed to air dry before next use.
    • Consider removing pool toys and discourage patrons from bringing their own pool toys.

Physical Distancing Guidance

  • Space deck chairs and tables at least 6 feet apart.
    • If no deck chairs, designate on the pool deck every 6 feet where patrons may lay towels and personal items.
    • Members of the same family grouping are not required to distance.
  • Close common areas where employees and customers are likely to congregate and interact.
    • Close hot tub/spa water features that cannot facilitate 6-foot distancing.
    • Post signs with clear instructions of steps employees and patrons should take to maintain physical distancing.