USA Swimming has updated its previous recommendation that all of its sanctioned events be canceled through April and is now mandating that outcome as response to the COVID-19 pandemic strengthens nationwide.
“Since first communicating with our members about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have received ample feedback, much of it focused on the safety measures being recommended. We sincerely appreciate the comments and responses you are sharing,” the organization wrote Tuesday. “As of today, the CDC and White House are urging a nationwide halt to gatherings of more than 10 people for the next eight weeks, citing the risk of the coronavirus. This includes avoiding eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts, and discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits. This should also include team training and practices.”
The situation will be “continuously reassessed based on health and governmental authorities’ information,” the announcement said.
Monday, USA Swimming announced the cancellation of the upcoming Pro Swim Series stop in Mission Viejo, which was slated for April 16-18, and postponed the Open Water National and Junior National Championships, which were scheduled for Fort Myers at the end of April. Numerous age group meets – including major sectional championships – have been canceled over the last week, but the new mandate ensures none will go on.
The final stop of the 2019-20 Pro Swim Series is slated for May 6-9 in Indianapolis – just a week after the current moratorium is scheduled to end.
With the CDC and White House’s latest recommendations, swimmers from early age group level up through professionals are scrambling to find facilities open for workouts.
Olympian Lilly King, for example, told USA Today that she and fellow Indiana University swimmers are struggling to find a pool as both the university and local YMCAs have shuttered. Likewise, Stanford-based swimmers have had to leave campus. Tuesday, a large group of U.S.-based swimmers had to vacate the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs after the state ordered the facility to shut down.