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Thread: For those who have been swimming in local pools

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    For those who have been swimming in local pools

    I finally found an outdoor pool at a nearby gym that also has an indoor pool. I'm so close to signing up, yet nervous. OTOH, I swam in mid-March, when all gyms had to close that evening. Our state was #2 in the nation with COVID cases. We are at an all time low, yet I still feel apprehensive. BTW, the pool is not busy, despite a heat wave all summer, which makes me think that people are fearful. (and fitness center confirmed that)

    Would love to hear from swimmers who've been swimming in outdoor/indoor pools. I know the data about chlorine killing the virus, but would feel better knowing swimmers have stayed COVID free.

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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    Would love to hear from swimmers who've been swimming in outdoor/indoor pools. I know the data about chlorine killing the virus, but would feel better knowing swimmers have stayed COVID free.
    Our indoor pools just reopened in mid-July and all lap lanes are restricted to one swimmer per lane. At my LA Fitness, which has a 3 lane pool, they've gone further and blocked off the middle lane. At our community pools, they are running all 6 lanes, but on a reservation-only basis, with 45 minute swim slots, no locker room access and then 15 minutes between sessions to allow time for swimmers to get off the deck. In either case, a mask is mandated except when you're swimming ... even to the point where they encourage you to dry your face first after you swim, put your mask on and then finish drying the rest of your body. I've done both and felt extremely safe. Now, the big caveat is that I'm in Canada where our COVID infection rates are much lower than the US, but if you're in a one-swimmer per lane scenario, I think it's safe.

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    I have been swimming in our community's 5-lane indoor pool, six days per week, since it re-opened in June. We are able to reserve for one hour; however, I have been able to take the 9, 10, and 11 am slots every day due to the pool reservations not being at capacity. I'm in the pool for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours depending on the workout, and then I do my dryland exercises WITH MY MASK ON(!) after I swim. (By the way, for all of you mask complainers: If I can do 50 military-style push-ups (as sets of ten) with my well-fitted mask on, followed by 130 crunches, Theraband, and yoga for a full 1-1/4 hours, surely you can, too. Oh, and I'm 58 years old!)

    I have remained COVID-free, as far as I know. (Either that or I got it, and I'm asymptomatic!
    )
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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    pwb, if this outdoor pool had those guidelines, I would feel very safe. It's a 6 lane lap pool attached to the kids' pool (kids not allowed in lap lanes) but I am concerned about kids peeing and snotting in the water. Locker rooms are open, there are no reserve times b/c it's not that busy. Masks are required in and out of the pool.

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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    Elaine, wow, that's impressive. I assume your indoor pool is also not that crowded, hence your ability to swim so long.

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    Elaine, wow, that's impressive. I assume your indoor pool is also not that crowded, hence your ability to swim so long.

    The reason it's not that crowded is because of the really nice outdoor pool we also have here in the community. That's the in-demand pool in the summer, and I want nothing to do with it! It's too hot, and the water is too warm!
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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    I know what you mean! It's been in the 90's here for 2 months straight. And the outdoor pool is heated!

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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    Kids' swim team had one mom test positive. Lapse of judgement, and she sent her kid to practice during quarantine. No issues from that. Another kid who actually hadn't been going to many practices this Summer got it, but no other cases. But we have not had issues with a much larger group that one would see in a gym pool. Have not heard of any of the other local teams with issues, either, but one coach from a Summer league team got it - again, no swimmers did.

    As a pretty militant masker, I feel the pool is about the safest environment one could be in. And most of what I've seen now is saying it takes about 15 minutes of expsure for it to spread, so walking through the bulding to the pool probably isn't a big problem, either.

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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    Thanks, 67King. I'm concerned about swimmers passing me in the next lane, breathing heavily in my direction.

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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    Thanks, 67King. I'm concerned about swimmers passing me in the next lane, breathing heavily in my direction.

    Your only concern about that should be if they are swimming backstroke or using a kick board with their face above the water. Otherwise, all exhalation is done underwater and is safe. Just make sure when you rest at the wall, there is nobody else resting at the same wall in neighboring lanes. If they are breathing hard after a sprint set, the microscopic aerosols could travel as much as ten feet.
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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    Thanks, 67King. I'm concerned about swimmers passing me in the next lane, breathing heavily in my direction.
    From this CNBC article, "The U.S. CDC defines a close contact as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting two days before the onset of symptoms until the time the patient is isolated."

    Even if doing backstroke or kicking (good points, Elaine, our club team had planned to skip both practices when we first got back in, but the city's initial prevention of more than 1 swimmer per lane made it unnecessary), the latest info indicates that would be insufficient to expose you I would say.

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    On the other hand, epidemiologists are saying the microscopic aerosols we exhale can linger in the air for up to three hours. I guess it would depend on how large and well ventilated the indoor pool facility is, and how many people are swimming backstroke, using a kickboard, etc. I'm sure the chances are very remote. Outdoors, I would say the risk is practically zero.

    Are masks required on deck, Renie? If so, that would also decrease the risk.

    Speaking of masks (and being a "militant masker"), I'm happy to say that I made "good trouble" by getting a mask mandate put in place in my community's amenity center; it starts on Monday. (Unfortunately, however, masks won't be required while working out on machines, due to the president's fear of someone passing out.) This is the letter I sent to the board president:

    August 7, 2020

    Dear Mr. Garrett,

    My husband, Bruce, and I are residents at Sun City Peachtree and are concerned about our health as well as the health of the other residents and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. My husband uses the gym, and I swim in the indoor pool, Mondays thru Saturdays.

    As I’m sure you are aware, Georgia has one of the highest positivity rates and death rates in the country. What you may not be aware of is that the country’s top scientists have stated that COVID-19 is 20 times deadlier than the flu, and 78% of those who get sick from COVID-19 end up with permanent heart damage. In addition, many of those people also have permanent lung damage as well as neurological damage as a result of the virus.

    The White House Coronavirus Task force has mandated wearing masks outside of the home, and 33 states have followed that advice. Unfortunately, in Georgia, wearing masks has become very political, even though wearing masks save lives.

    It has been proven by epidemiologists that cloth masks are 50% - 85% effective in preventing contracting COVID-19, depending on the quality and fit of the mask. So, not only will they help prevent spreading the virus, wearing a mask will keep people from contracting the virus.

    It has also been proven that the virus is most commonly spread through the aerosols we exhale, not only when coughing, but just breathing normally. Indoors, the microscopic droplets we exhale have been proven to linger in the air for up to three hours. Science has proven that in gyms, the six-foot social distancing rule is not adequate. When a person breathes hard, the aerosols they exhale travel up to ten feet.

    If everybody wore masks indoors, this could be greatly reduced; however, this isn’t the case at Sun City Peachtree. Masks are only encouraged, and many people are not wearing masks, including the staff. I have personally experienced staff members coming up to talk with me without a mask, and within the six-foot distancing mandate. I also witness it between the staff and other residents on a daily basis.

    We both wear our masks at Club Peachtree. The only time I am not wearing mine is when I swim. In the pool, I stay in my swim lane. On a daily basis, my 71-year-old husband can go 55 minutes on the elliptical on Level 4 at a fast pace while wearing a well-fitted cloth mask, and I can do my 4 mph, 2-mile walks while wearing my well-fitted cloth mask. Following my swim workouts, I am able to do 50 military push-ups, 130 crunches, and other rigorous exercise while wearing my mask. In other words, it is very doable!

    For the health and safety of our staff and residents, I implore you to reconsider your current mask policy and follow the CDC guidelines, White House Coronavirus Task Force mandate, and the well-documented science. Please require masks to be worn indoors throughout Club Peachtree, including the gym and the deck area of the indoor pool.

    Thank you,

    Elaine Krugman


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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    I do a lot of kick drills with a kickboard, and am a better breast/backstroker than a free styler, so I'm glad that they are limited 1 person per lane, except husband and wife couples, which is, IMO, odd that they couldn't each have their own lane. Unless they have proof of marriage anyone can say they are married. LOL. What about siblings, couples living together? I think that's a silly rule.

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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    I do a lot of kick drills with a kickboard, and am a better breast/backstroker than a free styler, so I'm glad that they are limited 1 person per lane, except husband and wife couples, which is, IMO, odd that they couldn't each have their own lane. Unless they have proof of marriage anyone can say they are married. LOL. What about siblings, couples living together? I think that's a silly rule.
    When our club team went back to 1/lane, we had siblings share a lane. We were allowed 10 people in the building, 7 lane pool. But with 2 coaches on deck, we just left it 1 per lane (meanwhile the state allowed 25 person gatherings, go figure). Also, we still mandate the swimmers wear masks until they get in the water. Which basically means the mask is the last thing they take off before they jump in.

    I am unaware of any community spread from swim teams, but we have seen several cases of it in all other sports. Just an anecdote I thought I'd point out that seems to fit with the notion that chlorine and corona don't mix.

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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    On the other hand, epidemiologists are saying the microscopic aerosols we exhale can linger in the air for up to three hours.
    I find this to be inconsistent with the current claims of wear masks unless you can social distance. The whole 6 feet thing seems to not really fit with the above theory. And I believe them when they say it. The only thing I can figure is that they have also stated it takes a certain number of cells for it to take hold. In that vein, dilution plays a critical role, even indoors. Though if you recall I had stated earlier I thought indoor pools may be better than outdoor pools - I no longer believe that because of the whole dilution affect. So yeah, a strong ventilation system will play a key role in this.

    Good job getting your community to mandate the masks. TN had been trending towards GA, too, in both case load, and positions of our respective governors. Fortunately we are FINALLY seeing people start to wear masks around here, due in part to the local health department mandating them. Still maybe 15% or so who disregard it, but better than 90% before the mandate.

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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    Quote Originally Posted by 67King View Post
    I find this to be inconsistent with the current claims of wear masks unless you can social distance. The whole 6 feet thing seems to not really fit with the above theory. And I believe them when they say it. The only thing I can figure is that they have also stated it takes a certain number of cells for it to take hold. In that vein, dilution plays a critical role, even indoors. Though if you recall I had stated earlier I thought indoor pools may be better than outdoor pools - I no longer believe that because of the whole dilution affect. So yeah, a strong ventilation system will play a key role in this.

    Good job getting your community to mandate the masks. TN had been trending towards GA, too, in both case load, and positions of our respective governors. Fortunately we are FINALLY seeing people start to wear masks around here, due in part to the local health department mandating them. Still maybe 15% or so who disregard it, but better than 90% before the mandate.

    It does seem inconsistent. The way I look at it is that the top scientists know a hell of a lot more about this than I do, so I will trust their advice and go with it. Better to be safe than sorry!

    As for winning over the board president,
    . To quote the late Congressman John Lewis, I was making "good trouble" and it paid off. I'm sure there will be some residents who will scream bloody murder at having to wear masks, but it was the right thing to do.

    Here in Georgia, most people are NOT wearing masks.
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    This is an excellent video from PBS proving how masks DO work, and it also demonstrates why it is important for your mask to cover your mouth AND nose-- and fit properly.

    https://youtu.be/0Tp0zB904Mc

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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    Would love to hear from swimmers who've been swimming in outdoor/indoor pools. I know the data about chlorine killing the virus, but would feel better knowing swimmers have stayed COVID free.
    I've been swimming in 2 different outdoor pools since they re-opened.
    1. A, "municipal," pool that is a proper pool (lane ropes, lines), with lifeguards, etc. 8 lanes, outside, and they've been fantastic with aerating nightly most of the summer (water temp usually around 80-82, sometimes less). I typically swim there M/W/F mornings, sometimes an occasional other day (either afternoon on Tues/Thurs or weekends).
    2. My community, "resort-style," pool. They say it is 25 yards, but I think slightly less. It has lines on the bottom, but not on the sides, and no ropes. It is open daily 6am to 10pm. I usually go shortly after it opens. No lifeguards. I'll occasionally see another person there, usually they are also swimming (or attempting to).

    In addition to these pools, I also swim in a local lake about every week. After everything shut down in March, I took about 2 weeks off, then tried a lake. The water was cold in early April (like mid-60s), but it was either that or not swim. I don't have a wetsuit. I've since moved upriver (or uplake), to where the lake starts, right after a major dam, where the water is even cooler (about 62F on Saturday). But the area where I began swimming has water way too warm (mid-80s), and way too busy, with people, boats, wave runners, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

    My suggestion would be to go to the pool. Maybe wear your suit and bring your stuff with you. Check everything out. What is comfortable for some is definitely not comfortable for others. Don't be afraid to walk away if you don't feel 100% comfortable with the way they are running things. If you have to pay, consider it money well spent to check the place out (even better if they will let you just go and explore and only pay if you swim).

    Prior to all of this, I was going to a gym on Tues/Thurs, but I definitely do not feel comfortable doing that right now. The gym chain I belonged to (24 Hour Fitness) closed the location I was using, and the nearest is much further away. Eventually, when I feel comfortable, I plan to explore other options that are nearby, such as LA Fitness and Gold's.

    These are unusual times, and it calls for being extra careful. That said, there's a point where some people need to get outside and back to some semblance of normalcy (if you are high-risk you'll need to weigh that into your comfort level). Although I wasn't out of the water very long, that feeling when I first got back in the water was such a great feeling, and I'm glad I did.
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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    aztimm, I finally "took the plunge" and joined the local "resort" which has an indoor (10 lane) and outdoor (6 lane) pool. Outdoor pool was 84 today. Uggh, but since this is my first time back in a pool since March, I feel better outside. Both pools have lane dividers and lines on the bottom. However, they don't enforce one per lane, and your typical little kids and noodlers use the adult only lap pool outside with no enforcement from guards.
    At this point, I'm so grateful to have a place to swim, I am dealing with it. There are plenty of hand sanitizers and masks are worn where social distancing is not possible. I could cancel membership in one week, but as this is my only opportunity to swim until a vaccine comes out, I am swimming there until they close on Labor Day. (None of our indoor pools have opened, except for this very pricey "resort" center.)

    I felt like I was dreaming when I was driving there yesterday. I had a fabulous swim, it was as though I'd never stopped!

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    Re: For those who have been swimming in local pools

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    I felt like I was dreaming when I was driving there yesterday. I had a fabulous swim, it was as though I'd never stopped!
    Glad you took a chance and went! Hope things continue to work out well and that you're able to find somewhere to swim year-round.
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