Courtesy of Omnify, a SwimSwam partner.
The summer sun is bearing down and pool season has arrived. Facilities across the country are gearing up to welcome crowds back after a challenging year.
With each state setting its own guidelines, pools have been allowed a little liberty to manage their facilities this year. But with only a little over 40% of American being fully vaccinated, the risks are only slightly mitigated as people visit pools to beat the heat.
Now, before you plan ahead, you can get a head start on securing your facility and members with these free customizable templates!
How to reopen your swimming pool safely in 2021?
The vaccination drive across the country is a real boon but it may be a few more months before everybody is fully vaccinated. During this time, the safety of your members still needs to be prioritized. Here’s how your pool can create a better experience while maintaining social distancing and sanitization during sessions.
- Factor in vaccinations
- Optimize for space
- Stay on top of sanitization
- Manage capacity
- Take a fresh look at member experience
Factor in vaccinations
As of June 14, about 1.11 million doses are being administered on average per day, but the many states are still lagging behind the national average. In states like Wyoming, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, among others, vaccination of all residents is still in the early 30% range.
Start with a quick survey of your members to see how many of them have been fully vaccinated. This would help you protect the more vulnerable and non-vaccinated members like children or the elderly and help frame safety guidelines and manage capacity in a way that works best for your members.
Optimize for space
Outside the water, you can ensure social distancing using signs of ‘6 Feet Apart’ and marking spaces with tape where necessary. In the water, however, it can be a little more of a challenge to do so.
The best way to do this would be to restrict swimmers to lanes. And that is just half the job done. Why stop there when you can double your capacity without any additional risk for your members? With tools like the lane-wide FINIS Turnmaster, this can now be done without having to go to the trouble of installing a bulkhead.
Stay on top of sanitization
There’s plenty to watch out for, so to help you out, we’ve made a list of the various touch points you will need to sanitize between sessions.
1. Door handles
2. Reception desk
3. Water dispensers
4. Sinks, faucets, paper towel dispensers, and flush levers
5. Ladders and handrails
6. Switches and buttons in common areas
7. Lockers and key card readers
It would be ideal for the staff to sanitize between sessions and minimize any potential contact with members. Encourage members to sanitize before and after coming into contact with any of the above surfaces during sessions. You can also limit the number of people using locker rooms, showers, and other indoor spaces simultaneously and minimize the risk of infection indoors.
1. Fix your upper limit
Regardless of your local guidelines, fix your capacity based on what works best for your members. This can depend on a few factors such as-
- Your state’s guideline on capacities
- Your total member count
- Active members/regulars
- Tendency to follow regulations among members
- The general sentiment among members
An important point to note is that even if your state is easing restrictions with not enough in your county being fully vaccinated, then it would be wise to consider this while setting your capacity to protect vulnerable groups among your members.
2. Simplify reservations and ensure fair access
Figuring out the limit is just the first step. The process gets a lot more complicated and time-consuming when you have to make registrations, ensure fair access to all members, and schedule slots effectively with a buffer time for sanitization. In 2020, this was where most pools turned towards technology through booking software solutions.
Among the notable solutions that helped pools make it through a challenging season was Omnify. Their business management software for pools and sports facilities was used by over 1000 pools last year alone. With Omnify, pool owners were able to simplify operations with a robust platform that automated reservations, collected member data, ensured members could only book a certain number of times in a given time frame, allowed contactless check-ins, and enabled effortless scheduling during an overwhelming time.
Take a fresh look at member experience
As you welcome your members back and leave the year that was behind, it is important to move forward with caution, but find ways to do so while keeping your members in mind. Here are a few things you could do to improve your member experience this year.
1. Mitigate risks and liability
The best way to counter the spread of a virus, beyond the usual sanitization measures, is to trace the spread. You can do your bit by collecting as much data as you can from your members before they book a session. You could ask your members to fill out a COVID-19 form before booking, where you collect their information on travel history, current state of health, and vaccination status to account for any potential risks during sessions.
You can also protect yourself with a liability waiver that members will have to sign before any booking can be completed. This will inform them about their responsibilities and a paperless process makes it safer for everyone.
2. Simplify Check-ins
Considering staff and member interactions will need to be kept to a minimum for the foreseeable future, check-ins could be one place where facilities try to limit interface with members. With a platform like Omnify, you could enable your members to check in based on their convenience.
Omnify allows contactless check-ins for people comfortable with technology, where all they would need to do is scan a QR code that takes them to a check-in page. A tap on the ‘Check-In’ button completes the process.
For those who may not be comfortable with this, the process is equally simple, albeit without their own use of technology. Staff can check-in such members with their first name and no additional steps, so the process is minimal for everyone.
3. Personalize communication
A key aspect of member experience lies in the quality of communication between you and your members. A personal touch always leaves one smiling and shows you care about their patronage. Omnify enables this personalization with automated emails at every step of the member journey, right from the moment they sign up till the end of their session.
Automating emails also means not missing an update again, while saving valuable time and effort for the team.
Omnify has been building a reputation among amenity managers, HOAs, COAs, sports facilities, and fitness centers across the country for a constantly developing platform that caters to its clients’ needs. You can learn more about Omnify on their website.