Update on Coronavirus – 20th March, 2020
Nepean Swim & Fitness Management continues to work with advice provided by the NSW Health Department and the Federal Government in managing the risks associated with the current international Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) incident.
In the press conference held by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on 18/3/20, it was clearly communicated that:
Settings like gyms, indoor fitness centres and swimming pools are not required to close at this time providing they meet these requirements for social distancing and hand hygiene. Such venues should take actions to ensure regular high standards of environmental cleaning take place.
In the meantime, these venues should continue to apply social distancing and hygiene practices.
• This includes being able to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres between patrons.
• Hand hygiene products and suitable waste receptacles need to be available, with frequent cleaning and waste disposal.
A link to this information can be found here: http://bit.ly/2Qs6t7P
Please be reassured that at both Nepean Aquatic Centre and Eva Borys Swim Schools we have in the past 48 hours taken practical steps to comply with social distancing and hygiene requirements and remain open for business.
We are doing the following to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our centres by:
• An increase in regularity of our already vigorous disinfecting and cleaning procedures.
• Minimized the number of “touch points” around the centre by keeping doors open.
• Signage to increase Team awareness of how best to minimize the risk of contracting and/or passing on germs.
• Made more hand sanitizing products available to our Team and customers.
• Encouraging staff and customers to stay home when they are sick.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
To further reassure our valuable customers, please be aware that studies have been published which show that Coronavirus does not survive in swimming pool water. In fact, it will not survive in treated drinking water which usually has lower levels of chlorine than pool water.
The Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Regulation 2012 (schedule 1) sets out the minimum standards regarding the disinfection levels of public swimming pools. We pride ourselves on maintaining a consistently high standard of crystal clear, safe, clean water all year round, so have not had to alter our disinfection processes in light of COVID-19 concerns.
Our water chemistry is controlled by a computer system which tests the chlorine and PH levels every 30 seconds and automatically doses chemicals as required to ensure our levels stay above the minimum requirements as set by the NSW Health Department. In addition to the minimum requirements, our pool water undergoes secondary sanitation using UV light.
To confirm that our automatic dosing system is accurate, our swimming pool water is manually tested by pool staff twice per day. We also have our water tested by a 3rd party laboratory once a month as per the regulation. The local Health Department at Penrith City Council conduct random pool water tests to ensure that we are complying with regulation. Our pool water has been tested by Penrith Council in the last fortnight and passed.
With regards to restrictions on all non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, please be aware that swim schools fall under the heading of educational facilities, which according to our Prime Minister are deemed an essential service. It is also worth noting that most concern associated with indoor gatherings is around static gatherings (i.e. sitting or standing in one place) for 2 hours or more. As you are aware, 45-60 minutes is the maximum time you will be “static” in our venues whilst observing your child’s swimming lesson, and our customer traffic flow is constant, with little congregation in groups. We are also increasing ventilation throughout our venues.
With regards to further restrictions on non-essential gatherings announced by the PM on the 20th March, despite the fact that we are an essential service and these restrictions do not apply to us, we would like to reassure customers as to what that looks like in our venue. In accordance with the 4 square metre per person limit, that equates to 80 people in the NAC LTS pool hall, 10 people in the NAC viewing room, and 310 people in various areas throughout the rest of the centre. At Eva Borys Swim School, that equates to 96 people in the pool hall.
Whilst the risk in the venue environment is low, we look forward to working co-operatively with the community to minimise any risks associated with this current event. Please practise good hand hygiene, maintain social distancing practises including refraining from non-essential physical contact, limit contact with the more vulnerable members of our society, and isolate yourself should you experience any symptoms. As a further preventative measure, we also suggest that families take their child/ren home after lessons rather than use change facilities and encourage only one parent to attend the lesson.
The risk of becoming unwell with 2019-nCoV without a history of travel in the last 14 days is very low. It is appropriate and advisable to continue normal training, competition, programs and activities if:
1. You do not have any symptoms of fever, shortness of breath, cough or sore throat AND
2. You have not travelled outside of Australia in the past 14 days AND
3. You have not been in direct contact with a known or suspected case of 2019-nCoV in the past 14 days.
For further medical advice, please contact your GP or local emergency department or call the health direct helpline 1800 022 222.
Nepean Swim & Fitness Management will continue to follow advice from NSW Health and post any further updates. We thank you for your understanding and continued support during these challenging circumstances and encourage you to reach out and discuss any thoughts or concerns with us at any time in the coming weeks. Let’s work together to stay positive, look after each other and protect the vulnerable amongst us, whilst going about our normal routines as much and as safely as possible to protect ourselves and our children from further anxiety, and whilst continuing to prioritise the swim safety of our children.
For further information:
Australian Government: https://www.health.gov.au
World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int
NSW State Health Department: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases