The Aquatics Coalition is comprised of more than 20 water safety and competitive water sports organizations spanning from learn-to-swim programs, health and rehabilitation groups to competitive aquatics organizations. This diverse group joined together with one aim: advocate for a return to purpose-driven instructional aquatics by developing tools to guide a safer return to water. The Coalition is not advocating to open pools for unrestricted recreational use but rather solely for purposeful aquatics activity under the four tenets detailed below.
1 | Purposeful Aquatics
Purpose-driven, coached, aquatic activity—swim lessons, pool-based physical therapy, and competitive swimming—are essential to public safety and health. Therefore, it is vital that these activities be allowed to resume immediately with continued availability for local communities. Each of these aquatic activities can recommence in a way that minimizes the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
2 | Learn to Swim
Swim lessons are a critical resource given that drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children under the age of four. Yet the closing of aquatic venues has abruptly halted learn-to-swim programs for months, denying children the opportunity to acquire this life-saving skill. People should be aware that swim lessons can be safely administered with proper protective equipment and protocols.
3 | Safer Facilities
According to the CDC, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through chlorinated water. Aquatics facilities can allow purpose-driven swimming to take place by following strict safety protocols in and around the pool, maintaining proper water sanitation levels and air quality measures, performing frequent cleaning and sanitization, and conducting regular health checks of staff and participants.
4 | Community Health
Exercise done in water such as physical therapy, lap swimming, competitive swimming, water aerobics, and other aquatic instruction are essential for mental and physical health. Further, regular exercise can reduce risk factors for severe COVID-19. Facilitating a safer return to water can only elevate social and fitness well-being in our communities.