The Path Forward for Swimming Pools in Alberta
On January 29, 2021, the Government of Alberta announced the path forward outlining the steps to be taken in easing public health measures and restrictions for the re-start of businesses in various sectors. Since then, more information has been posted on the Government of Alberta Website. On February 2, 2021, the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association hosted an online seminar with Alberta Health to provide additional information.
Step 1 of the Government of Alberta’s path forward may permit Swimming Pools to re-open as early as February 8, 2021.
What we know so far relating to Swimming Pools:
- Pool reopening will need to be confirmed by the Government of Alberta when they announce the move to Stage 1. This is based on the hospitalization metric of less than 600 people in hospital.
- If approved swimming pools may open for one-on-one training only. This means one participant (or one household) per certified Swim Instructor or Coach. Lane Swim, Public Swim, and drop-in swimming is not permitted at this time.
- If approved swimming pools may open for school swim lessons. However, instructors must maintain 2-3 meters of distance, depending on the intensity of the exercise, from the group while providing instruction. For school swim lessons it is recommended they only be provided for children who can participate safely without assistance. Employers are can reference the guidance posted on Biz Connect for Swimming Pools for more information.
- If approved Lifeguards, Swim Instructors, and Coaches must wear a mask while working. The mask should be removed if they are demonstrating a skill or when conducting in-water rescue response.
- The Lifesaving Society requires that all Lifeguards have current certifications while on-duty. There are no certification extensions in place.
- An exemption request has been submitted to the Government of Alberta today requesting an exemption to permit Lifeguard certification and training to occur.
- Review the guidance documents from the Government of Alberta and their plan for the path forward.
- Determine if your facility will resume operations and what your staffing requirements will be. Confirm that your employees have current certifications for their role.
- Swim and Lifesaving Instructors, National Lifeguard Instructors, and Trainers can complete online recertifications through the Lifesaving Society Online Academy
- Employers can run First Aid Training courses for employees who require certification and recertification. These courses must be delivered in locations that have not been ordered closed These courses are required to follow the Lifesaving Society Position Statement on First Aid Delivery
Continue to monitor public health advise and adjust your operational plan as required. For more information on the Steps moving forward visit the Government of Alberta’s website.
As this is an evolving response to a global pandemic it is important to realize that advice and recommendations may change. We will provide updates and clarification on this guidance as information becomes available. We encourage everyone to remain up to date by following current recommendations regarding the COVID-19 response from the Government of Alberta and local municipalities.