Along with tracking the latest on pool safety, IHRSA launched the Active & Safe Commitment in December 2020 as an initiative to reaffirm the health club industry’s unyielding dedication to safety at this time when exercise has never been more important to global health.
Developed by industry experts in accordance with the foremost public health guidance, the Active & Safe Commitment serves three main purposes:
- To demonstrate the industry’s united commitment to safety for members, guests, and staff;
- To provide health club members and guests with well-founded peace of mind during club visits; and
- To reassure policymakers and public health officials that health clubs should not be shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, but rather should be relied upon as safe environments for exercise that can serve as, responsible, credible, and effective partners for reducing the pandemic’s catastrophic toll on physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
"The Active & Safe Commitment is a public expression of our highest values as an industry,” says Brent Darden, interim president & CEO of IHRSA. “I strongly encourage every health club operator to sign the commitment, boldly stand united with fellow operators across the industry, and confidently proclaim health clubs as vital community resources during these challenging times.”
In addition to complementing the Active & Safe commitment, IHRSA encourages all clubs to utilize the key considerations, mitigation checklist and risk assessment tools to help reopen clubs and keep clubs open. These are very valuable for clubs to use and in demonstrating to members, governments, and other stakeholders that clubs are carrying on risk assessments and mitigating risk based on the best guidance available globally. Check out our webinar with the WHO (World Health Organization) Health Emergencies Team discussing these key considerations and mitigation measures to help keep clubs open/reopen around the globe.
A well-run, clean swimming pool with appropriately treated water using chlorine at internationally accepted levels should provide adequate disinfection to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.
Operators should ensure chlorine levels in pools and spas are kept between 1-3mg/l with the pH between 6.8-7.4. Spa pools that use bromine need to maintain their water at 4-6mg/l bromine or 3-5mg/l chlorine. Routine tests for microbiological quality should also be undertaken in line with national guidelines.
Given that the virus is a new one, experts cannot say with absolute certainty that it will be safe. However, most authorities believe that pool and spa waters that are adequately disinfected should not spread the disease. A bigger risk will be the face-to-face interaction between individual users of the pools and spas. The latest from the WHO on pool safety supports this advice.