Last Updated on Jun 24 2020, 12:30am
This FAQ page will be updated as we receive more inquiries. Please check back from time to time.
1) How many people replied that they were OK if the pool is WITHOUT lifeguards? (I am personally not OK with this decision although grateful for the option to swim.)
- 79% of the respondents to our survey said they would continue to use the pool even without the lifeguards on deck. (84% said they wanted the pool open ASAP).
- While we regret that a minority of our members will not be able to use the pool without lifeguards, we want to emphasize that this is a TEMPORARY situation due to COVID-19 and lifeguards will be hired upon resuming normal operations.
2) What are the reasons that we are not able to have supervised lifeguards on duty at this time? I would like some clarification on how/why this decision was made. If we have lifeguards willing to work, is it worth the risk?
- Continuing lifeguard operations imposes significant liability on the board and membership. We do not currently have the resources to ensure we are compliant with COVID-19 social distancing rules. In particular, we have to ensure the lifeguards’ well-being and adhere to all relevant workplace safety concerns. For example, how is a lifeguard supposed to administer first-aid while protecting themselves from infection?
- Therefore, as a first step the board has decided to engage the individual responsibility of its Adult member users, rather than to impose this responsibility onto lifeguards. The “unsupervised” mode with increased age limits makes it very clear that our adult members are responsible for following COVID-19 rules – and other safety rules.
- Ontario Reg. 565, s. 17(19)(b) explicitly allows operating our pool without lifeguards. This method of operating our BW2 pool was in fact approved by the regional public health inspector in 2019 and was approved again this year on June 22. Other pools in smaller neighbourhood associations throughout Waterloo operate in the same way, some have for many years.
- The board would welcome any new volunteer member who would be willing to invest the time, effort and responsibility to supervise the smooth running of a lifeguarded pool, within the various guidelines and restrictions currently in force, and complying with the covid-obligations invoked when more than one employee is on site.
3) What is the board intention to handle the money surplus (no lifeguards being paid)?
- In the event that we have surplus, we will seek input from members before and/or during next year’s AGM regarding the proper use of these funds
4) Does this mean that the board does not intend to bring back lifeguards for the current season?
This decision is not final. Right now our main priority is to open the pool and make it safe for members who feel comfortable using it. The board and the Region of Waterloo is comfortable with an unsupervised pool according to established regulations and standards of operation and with high age limits. If, for whatever reason, an unsupervised pool would not be feasible and without new/additional board members willing to take on the responsibility that comes with hiring lifeguards, the only remaining option is leaving the pool closed.
5) Is the 10 person limit because of COVID-19 or because it is now an unsupervised pool?
The 10-person limit is because it is an unsupervised pool. Even fully lifeguarded, current COVID-19 guidelines would expand our capacity to maybe 14-16 bathers.
6) I have heard that another Beechwood association still has lifeguards. Why do other pools still operate with lifeguards?
The decision about lifeguards weighs various risks and complexities (see above questions) and visitor capacity. Associations with a larger membership and a larger pool facility might have concluded that the higher capacity justifies the risks and complexities of hiring lifeguards. Please refer to page 15 of Ontario’s Framework for Reopening our Province and the Region of Waterloo Reopening Recreational Water webpage for details about restrictions and regulations.
7) Will we have lessons later this summer?
This decision has not been made yet. Several COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines have been set in place by the Province and the Region of Waterloo. This includes strict physical distancing measures during swimming lessons. Instructors are not allowed contact with students, one member from the household must be in the water with the student. Given pool/deck capacity restrictions, this limits the number of students and lessons that can be offered. The other challenge is that no one volunteered for the position of HR Director during our last AGM. All of our volunteer Board members are already working at full capacity – we need a dedicated volunteer to navigate and manage lifeguard and lesson schedules under the current physical distancing framework..
8) Can our babysitter/nanny bring our children to the pool while we work during the day?
Yes, as long as your childcare provider:
- Is 18 or older.
- Registers with a name & the caregiver’s home address (for contact tracing).
- Signs our rules sheet to indicate their understanding and agreement.
9) Can we bring guests?
Due to capacity constraints, outside guests are not permitted at this time. Exceptions will be made for the grandchildren of members, as well as babysitters over the age of 18 who have read and agreed to the new pool rules.
With such limited capacity at the pool, we are giving priority to the membership so we have a better understanding of demand at the pool in this operating mode. As provincial and regional regulations change, and should the capacity become available, this restriction could be lifted later in the summer.
10) What are pool hours?
Current pool hours are 9am to 9pm, 7 days a week.
12) What happens if someone fouls the pool?
A phone number will be left on the small white board near the water fountain. If there is a fouling or other urgent situation that requires maintenance or a trained professional, please call the phone number.