Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Draft Aquatic Facility Risk Mitigants List

Ahead of the release of the ‘LSV Coronavirus – A Re-opening Guide for Aquatic Facilities’ resource, LSV would like to request feedback on the draft list of identified risk mitigants. These mitigants are considered to be relevant to those operating in the aquatic industry to support the provision of a safe environment.

Please provide feedback to It is hoped that the resource can be made available following the National Cabinet meeting on May 8th.

Risk Mitigant Options – General

  • Provision of appropriate sanitisation stations in selected/targeted areas throughout the facility
  • Adherence to government specified physical distancing provisions during all activities in all areas
  • Provision of clear and consistent signage/information through the facility, particularly at entry points
  • Provision of clear and consistent information regarding the facility operations/requirements on web/social media platforms
  • Frequent ongoing cleaning of high touch point areas using appropriate disinfectant equipment/chemicals
  • Systematic professional deep clean/disinfection using appropriate disinfectant equipment/chemicals
  • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in line with Victoria Government (DHHS) recommendations
  • Delivery of staff and contractor training with regards to coronavirus (COVID-19) and the facilities selected treatment measures
  • Increase the provision of staff to support the ability to manage additional workloads/activity associated with the altered operation
  • Ensure an appropriate escalation process is available to protect and support staff addressing challenging patron behaviour
  • Utilise staff in roster (strictly separated) teams where practical to limit the impact associated with potential quarantine requirements
  • Delivery of systematic and responsive meetings via web platforms, rather than face-to-face where possible
  • Adjustments of existing contractor agreements to ensure Government recommendation can be adhered to
  • Open windows and/or increase the flow of air throughout the building, via the building management system
  • Develop detailed risk assessments for challenging or complex physical areas, activities and/or user groups
  • Adjustment of existing safe work method statements to consider and manage the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) cross-infection
  • Provision of an appropriate identification procedure to manage the occurrence of staff/patrons with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Provision of an appropriate response procedure to manage the occurrence of staff/patrons with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Adjustments to emergency management plans/evacuation plans to enable the safe implementation if required
  • Ensure staff have appropriate PPE to manage aquatic rescue and routine first aid situations
  • Continue to offer work from home opportunities if not required for service provision, safety and/or emergency response
  • Encourage flu vaccinations for patrons and provide flu vaccination opportunities to staff
  • Introduce Radio Frequency ID (RFID) technology where possible into secure areas (e.g. staff rooms) instead of touch pad access options
  • Continue to suspend activities such as children’s parties and holiday programs, where achieving of physical distancing is highly unlikely
  • Remove communal water stations for use and encourage patrons to bring their own water/fluids with them to the facility
  • Prohibit patrons from bringing their own food into the facility, where practical (e.g. continue to allow baby formula)
  • Consider the need for training trainees, re-inducting existing staff and inducting new personnel in order to safely operate the facility
  • Provide written correspondence on reopening, restrictions and altered operation to key stakeholder groups
  • Restrict access to high risk users and educate currently/previously unwell patrons to avoid attending the facility
  • Take steps to ensure appropriate records of patron attendance are achieved to enable follow up in the event of an infection
  • Leverage available communication to direct users to official State Government platforms to remain up to date with current advise
  • Consider appropriate medical waste receptacles and disposal arrangements
  • Implement the four-metre-square rule (e.g. no more than one person for every four-square metres of available floor space)

 Risk Mitigant Options – Reception / Foyer

  • Check temperature of staff and patrons on arrival to the facility each day
  • Provision of glass/perspex sneeze guards at the reception, customer services, membership and food/beverage service areas
  • Transition entry/membership payment options to direct debit where possible and/or contactless payment
  • Provide web-based reservation systems for activities with reduced capacities such as classes or fitness centre access
  • Leverage IT systems for enrolment/membership registrations where possible instead of pen and paper
  • Utilise QR (or similar) technology to provide digital information to patrons, rather than the provision of paper-based resources/leaflets
  • Implement floor markers for entry, access and queuing areas to support the maintenance of physical distancing recommendations
  • Identify separate entry/exit options for patrons if multiple doors are available to create a single directional flow of patrons
  • Where automatic/revolving doors are not provided, leave entry and exit points open to reduce the need to touch handles
  • Separate staff positions away from one another through increased service stations or increased technology provisions
  • Close parts of the reception/membership areas if they are located within 1.5m of one another and reduce staff numbers
  • Introduce a central hygiene station at the entry and exit point of the facility
  • Ensure communal seating areas are arranged with appropriate separation distances
  • Leverage cashless payment options for use at food and beverage outlets
  • Reduce the number of tables/chairs provided in food and beverage service areas and adjust the configuration

Risk Mitigant Options – Changing Areas

  • Introduce a maximum capacity for changing rooms based on the available space
  • Encourage users to shower and get changed away from the venue, if suitable do to so
  • Consider closing the changing rooms for use if it is not possible to achieve appropriate physical distancing recommendations
  • Introduce floor markings for the open areas of the changing room with a minimum dimension of 1.5m
  • Increase systematic and deep clean cleaning regime associated with all changing rooms available at the facility
  • Introduce/increase the provision of soap dispenser equipment in toilet / shower areas and ensure the content is topped up regularly
  • Enable the use of ‘low usage’ changing facilities (e.g. school changing rooms) when not in use for their primary purpose
  • Introduce disinfectant aerosols and locate in a safe location within the changing rooms
  • Ensure appropriate medical/biohazard waste containers are provided and covered under an appropriate service contract
  • Restrict the use of lockers, by staggering the arrangement of available lockers and leaving others closed/locked. Ensure this high-touch area is suitably disinfected frequently

Risk Mitigant Options – Pools / Splash Parks

  • Detail and communicate the number of patrons allowed in a lap lane/ pool space and enforce the provisions
  • Introduce pre-usage bookings to support the management of pool/ water space capacities
  • Introduce a wristband model, which determines when users enter/exit the facility (e.g. changeover every hour)
  • Reduce/remove seating from poolside to reduce the number of people unnecessarily on poolside and encourage physical distancing
  • Reduce the number of spectators able to attend to watch participants in swimming lesson/aquatic activities
  • Mandate the need for all patrons to rinse off prior to aquatic activities and provide guidance on duration
  • Reduce the number of participants taking part in swimming lessons/ structured aquatic programs/activities
  • For middle to higher skill levels consider the option to provide instruction from outside of the water
  • Minimise use of lesson equipment – where essential undertake systematic cleaning of lesson equipment between each use, utilising appropriate cleaning equipment/chemicals
  • Provide markings on freestanding flumes or slides associated with waterplay areas and diving towers
  • Modify activity instructions to the extent practical / safe and cease activities where safety and cross-infection cannot be achieved
  • Modify/reduce programming traditionally targeted at higher risk user groups
  • Increase the provision of supervision staff to support the ability to manage additional activity associated with the altered operation
  • Introduce and maintain a targeted cleaning regime on high touch items such as ramp, stair and step handrails
  • Adjust lane allocations where necessary to increase the spread of lap lane swimmers and reduce lane capacities
  • Proactively discourage on-deck time for pool users before/after they have completed their intended activity
  • Proactively discourage lap swimmers from gathering at the end of lanes for extended periods
  • Increase the provision of reach and throw rescue equipment for Pool Lifeguards

Risk Mitigant Options – Sauna / Steam Room

  • Introduce pre-usage bookings to support the management of sauna/ steam room capacities
  • Introduce a wristband model, which determines when users enter/ exit the facility (e.g. changeover every hour)
  • Mandate the need for all patrons to take showers prior to and post using sauna / steam room facilities
  • Introduce additional systematic deep cleaning throughout the day, with advertised closure times

Risk Mitigant Options – Plant Operations

  • Adhere to all pool water quality testing requirements necessary under the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations
  • Increase the free chlorine level, whilst remaining within the regulation parameters at all times
  • Increase the water quality testing frequencies for all pool and water spaces
  • Introduce secondary disinfectant measures (e.g. Ultraviolet) into the water treatment process
  • Maintain the air temperature at 1 degree Celsius above the pool temperature
  • Increase the provision of qualified and authorized aquatic technical operators on site to manage agreed increased activities
  • Review existing preventative and responsive external consultant contract provisions to ensure appropriate expert support

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