COVID-19 Strategy

Last Updated:  March 1, 2022

Chicago Blue Dolphins pledges to keep COVID-19 safety it’s number one priority as we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic.  We have redesigned our business location, our processes, and our teaching approach to incorporate the recommendations of the CDC and the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Public Health.

It is our goal to communicate, educate, implement, and enforce safety standards that meet and even exceed these recommendations.  If we work together and follow these guidelines, we should be able to considerably reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during swim lessons.

As you consider starting swim lessons, it’s important to understand that the CDC has determined that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through recreational water in swimming pools.  To read about the CDC’s findings and get additional information, head to the CDC’s Healthy Swimming page.  While the pool water is safe, we face the same problems as other business in reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

We’ve learned much about COVID-19 since we first shutdown in March 2020.  Our objective is to follow the guidelines of the scientific community but be more conservative when we feel that the health of our staff and our community is at risk.  We’ll break our COVID-19 strategy to reduce this risk into five categories:

  1. Vaccination Policy
  2. Masking Policy
  3. Social Distancing
  4. Hygiene
  5. Cleaning

Vaccination Policy

We continue to observe the vaccination requirement laid out by the Mayor on January 3, 2022, despite the city’s decision to lift the requirement on February 28, 2022.  Our decision to maintain the vaccine requirement is based primarily on the inability of children under the age of 5 to get vaccinated — about 40% of our student population.  The health and safety of our littlest Blue Dolphins is very important to us.

Our vaccination policy for anyone entering the Swim Studio (student, parent, or observer) is therefore:

  • All patrons ages 16 and above must show proof of full vaccination on their first visit.  This group must also bring a valid photo ID to verify identify
  • All patrons ages 5 to 15 must show proof of full vaccination on their first visit
  • Children who have just turned five must demonstrate that they have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine on their first or next visit to the Swim Studio
  • Children under the age of 5 are not required to be vaccinated at this time

Masking Policy

We continue to observe the mask mandate despite the city’s decision to lift the requirement on February 28, 2022.  Like our decision to require vaccinations to take lessons at the Swim Studio, we ask our patrons to continue to observe our masking policy because of the inability of children under the age of 5 to get vaccinated.

Our masking policy for anyone entering the Swim Studio, student, parent, or observer, is therefore:

  • All patrons over the age of 2 must wear masks when in the Swim Studio and not in the pools
  • Parents in Infant-Toddler classes will need to wear masks while in the pool

If you forget your mask, we will have disposable masks for you to use at our front desk.

Social Distancing

While the vaccines have reduced the extent of our social distancing policies, we retain a few policies to help spread out our patrons and reduce the risk of virus transmission:

  1. One Parent or Caregiver Outside the Water per Swimmer — To reduce the number of people waiting in the pool room, we ask that only one parent or caregiver come with a child if they are not getting into the water.  In other words, two caregivers can come with children in the infant-toddler class since one will be in the water
  2. Dress for the Lesson — To reduce bottlenecks in the bathrooms, we ask our families to dress for the lesson and do a “deck change” to before getting into the pool
  3. Social Distancing in the Pool — We’ve reduced our class sizes and spread our students out in the pools to ensure that we are maintaining 6 feet of social distance
  4. Use the Deck Shower to Rinse AFTER the Lesson — Post-lesson rinses at the deck shower will reduce bottlenecks in the changing rooms
  5. Do Quick Changes in the Changing Rooms — After the lesson, you can use the changing areas to get out of your wet clothes.  We ask you to be quick when changing to keep the numbers in the Swim Studio well below capacity

Hygiene

  1. All Students and Caregivers should continue to Wash or Sanitize Hands — One of the simplest protections against virus transmission is clean hands.  We’ll have hand sanitizer throughout the facility.  You can also use the soap and sinks in the bathrooms to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  2. Use the Deck Shower to Rinse BEFORE the Lesson — Pre-lesson rinses at the deck shower will help keep our bromine levels up by reducing body oils, dirt, or lotions in our pools
  3. Do Not Eat or Drink in the Swim Studio — Please refrain from snacking or eating in the Swim Studio

Cleaning

  • Cleaning Zones — We have broken the Swim Studio into 5 cleaning zones.  We will perform CDC and Health Department recommended cleaning and sanitizing at opening, mid-day, closing, and throughout the day for high-traffic areas (e.g., bathrooms)
  • Multiple Toy and Equipment Sets — We will break up our equipment and toys into smaller batches, so each lesson or class gets a fresh set of gear

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