The Return to Step 1 for Swimming Pools in Alberta
On April 6, 2021, the Government of Alberta announced that due to COVID-19 variant of concerns and increased viral spread across the province that public health restrictions would be re-imposed. Chief Medical Officer of Health Order (CMOH) 08-2021 was issued which rescinds CMOH Order 04-2021. Changes were made to this order on April 8, 2021 in which CMOH Order 10-2021 was issued that modified CMOH Order 08-2021. CMOH Order 10-2021 was put into effect at 12:00pm on April 9, 2021 which rescinds CMOH Order 08-2021.
This has impact to swimming pools across Alberta as follows:
- The requirement of section 51(b) of CMOH Order 08-2021 indicating that any group of persons who are participating in an indoor youth group physical activity, as described in Section 64 of the Order, occupy a separate playing surface from any other group has been removed.
- All activity in swimming pools needs be led by a certified instructor or coach and by appointment only.
- Drop in admission and self-directed activities are not permitted.
- The public health order does not impact the delivery of certification courses.
- Group activities for children (ie. Swim lessons) continue to be permitted with a limit of 10 persons, including instructor, coach, and participant support personnel. Participants are required to maintain 3 meters from each other and the instructor/coach.
Masking remains a requirement for all patrons while in the facility. Bathers can remove their mask at the edge of the pool prior to swimming. Based on the Order, masks should continue to be worn for low intensity activity in shallow water where a bather's head will remain out of the water for the duration of the activity. Face masks should never be worn in deep water or while swimming lengths.
Instructors and coaches are required to wear masks and maintain 3 meters of distance.
The Society encourages communities with outdoor pools to consider greater utilization of these spaces for the delivery of community swimming lessons including Swim to Survive.
Contact the Society directly if you have questions or require clarification regarding the safe operation of swimming pools. The Society encourages members to remain up to date by following information posted on www.alberta.ca/covid19. We recognize guidance can change quickly and in the event of a conflict between the content in this communique and the Government of Alberta the Government of Alberta information will prevail.