The following guidelines and safety measures for the aquatics area have been implemented in accordance with the most recent orders and measures put in place by state and local authorities. Please see below for more specific details.
- Sauna – Sauna will be open for 1 individual to use at a time or a max of 3 individuals of the same household. We are asking members to limit use to 15 minutes at a time. Guidelines for use: There will be a sand timer located on the outside of the sauna door. Before entering the sauna, turn the sand timer over to start the 15-minute timer. When the sand has fully reached the bottom (15 minutes), the next member can enter the sauna and the member inside the sauna must exit. Masks are required while in the sauna.
- Whirlpool – Whirlpool will be open for a maximum of 2 people at Meadowmont and a maximum of 4 in the whirlpool at NW Cary while maintaining appropriate physical distancing. Members must sit in the designated locations to maintain appropriate physical distancing.
- Lap Lanes – Lap lanes will be available for reservation only. Reservations will be available in 30 minute and 45 minute blocks. One reservation per member/household per day. Up to three family members can use the same lane. Reservations can be made up to 7 days in advance beginning at 5 AM online M-Sunday and M-F at the front desk; 7 am Sat and Sun at the front desk. To learn more about reserving a lap lane, click here. Lap lane walking, running, swimming, exercising in place can be done in a lap lane during your reservation.
- Aqua Aerobics Classes – Limited aqua aerobics classes will be available. Please check the online calendar for the most updated schedule (Meadowmont and NW Cary).
- Pool equipment – Members may bring in their own swim gear such as kickboards, pool noodles, and pool buoys. To ensure adequate time for disinfecting and sanitizing, a limited supply of pool gear will be available to our members. No sharing equipment, for individual use only. Please clean all personal swim items with soap and water before entering the aquatics area.
- Face Masks: In accordance with NCDHHS recommendations, and Executive Order No. 215, face masks are no longer required for those who have received their COVID-19 vaccine. We strongly recommend that you do continue to wear a face mask over your nose and mouth if you have not received your COVID-19 vaccine.
- Cleaning – Regularly scheduled sanitization of all high-touch surfaces will be completed. All disinfecting products we are using meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19
COVID-19 and Water
According to CDC’s guidance regarding treated recreational water and COVID-19, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. The CDC notes that proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) should inactivate the virus in the water.
As mentioned above by the CDC, proper operation and maintenance of the pools are critical to providing a safe environment for our pool users. UNC Wellness Centers have always placed a high priority of proper water maintenance and monitoring and this will continue in all reopening phases. Some of the safety measures and systems already in place include:
- At least 6 manual chlorine and pH checks to ensure proper disinfection levels throughout the day, which is 3 times more than required by the local health department.
- The latest line of industry’s most reliable and innovative water chemistry controllers that monitor proper chemistry levels of all our pools 24/7
- Ultraviolet system on all pools. Ultraviolet (UV) pool sanitizers utilize a cutting-edge, non-chemical process that uses germicidal UV light rays to sanitize water. UV pool systems destroy over 99.5% of pathogens that may enter the pool. Toxic chloramines and other disinfection by-products are safely eliminated.
The aquatics area, including the main lap pool, sauna and whirlpool, will be open with capacity restrictions in accordance with state and local physical distancing guidelines.
Aquatics Area Safety Measures
- Numerous scheduled manual chlorine and pH checks by lifeguards to ensure proper disinfection levels throughout the day.
- The latest line of industry’s most reliable and innovative water chemistry controllers that continuously monitor proper pool chemistry levels.
- The ultraviolet system as a secondary source of sanitation: Ultraviolet (UV) pool sanitizers utilize a cutting-edge, non-chemical process that uses germicidal UV light rays to sanitize water. UV pool systems destroy over 99.5% of pathogens that may enter the pool. Toxic chloramines and other disinfection by-products are safely eliminated.
- Perform ongoing and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas. All disinfecting products we are using meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Hand sanitizer station and disinfectant wipes available in the aquatics area for members and employees.
- All employees will self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. Those individuals found to be positive for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will immediately leave the work environment and follow the appropriate UNC Health reporting and return-to-work protocol
- Signage posted reminding people about physical distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from others).
- Seating will be spaced over 6 feet apart to ensure physical distancing while lap lane users are out of the water.
- Limiting the lap lane use to one swimmer per lane or up to two household members to ensure appropriate physical distancing.
- Stagger swimming start times to minimize the number of people in the aquatics area at the same time.
- Removal of all shared exercise equipment and other items from the pool area. Lap lane users are permitted to bring in their personal swim items such as leg buoys, swim fins, hand paddles. We ask our members to place all personal items on the bench provided at their lane and wipe down those items and bench once the swim session has been completed.
- Face coverings will be worn by all UNC Wellness Center employees.
- During electrical storms, all members will be asked to leave the aquatics area immediately.
- Gym wipes will be available on each lap lane bench for members to use to wipe down benches before and after use. These wipes meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Swimming Safety Recommendations
PREPARING TO SWIM
- Know Your Ws: Wear, Wait, and Wash. All members coming into the facility must wear a cloth face covering while not in the pool, maintain appropriate physical distancing with other members and staff members, and wash/sanitize your hands often while in the center.
- STOP! Do NOT come to the center if you have the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste, or smell.
- Bring a full water bottle to avoid touching a water fountain handle.
- Towels will be available at the front desk. You may bring your own towel if you wish.
- Take a shower at home, in the locker room or rinse off on the pool deck before entering the water to help keep germs out of the water. Click here to see CDC’s Steps for Healthy Swimming.
- Arrive as close as possible to your lap lane reservation time to their reservation time to minimize the number of people on the pool deck.
- When you arrive in the aquatics area, please wait on one of the benches on the side of the pool before your reservation starts. This will ensure appropriate physical distancing and allow the current pool user time to exit the lap lane and gather his/her belongings before exiting the pool.
- There is a 5 minute gap time before and after each reservation to ensure appropriate physical distancing between reservations.
- Come ready to swim if possible. Minimize the items you are bringing to the wellness center.
- Gym wipes will be available to wipe down the bench before use. These wipes meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Please clean all personal swim items with soap and water before entering the aquatics area.
- Maintain appropriate physical distancing at all times with members and staff while in the pool and on the pool deck.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Exit the pool lane at the end of your reservation time in the same location you entered to ensure appropriate physical distancing. The next swimmer’s start time in your lap lane is staggered to allow you to gather your belongings and exit before the next swimmer’s reservation start time.
- Dry off with your towel and leave the area as soon as reasonably possible after your reservation time is over. This will help ensure the next member can start their lap lane reservation on time.
- The locker rooms are available to gather your belongings, change clothes and/or take a shower.
- Gym wipes will be available to wipe down the bench after use. These wipes meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Wash your hands thoroughly or use a hand sanitizer after leaving the pool area.
- No congregating after swimming.
UNC Wellness Centers has always practiced proper operation and maintenance of its pools and we are excited to announce the return of Aqua Aerobics. Your favorite instructors are well versed in safety protocols and looking forward to leading you through a safe, fun, and effective workout.
We want to ensure the safety of all of our members and staff. Please adhere to the following protocol.
- PHYSICAL DISTANCING – Please stay at least 6 feet apart in and out of the water at all times.
- TRAVELING TO & FROM THE POOL – Check-in is required to verify your reservation and enter the facility. Self-scan your ID tag at the front desk. Plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed to protect staff and members. When entering the pool, participants must remain 6-feet apart.
- ENTERING AND EXITING THE POOL – After you have checked in you will receive a ticket numbered 1-10. Remain at your bench until directed by a staff member. Staff will guide participants into the pool, from participant #10 down to #1. #10 will enter the pool first traveling to lane 3 in the depth appropriate for you. Numbers 9 and 8 will also be in lane 3. Numbers 7, 6, and 5 will be in lane 2. Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 will be in lane 1. Exiting will be handled in reverse order from #1 to #10. When getting into the pool, whenever possible the ramp should be used. Each student should enter slowly and individually waiting until the previous participant is in the pool and safely located in their exercise area.
- SHOWERS – We encourage participants to use the pool deck shower or locker room showers before entering the pool to help keep germs out of the pool. Please click here for more information on CDC’s Steps For Healthy Swimming.
- HAVE FUN – We love chatting with our members! However, for the time being, we ask that you please enter and exit the pool deck quickly. Please do not arrive more than 15 minutes early to class and please leave the pool deck in as timely a manner as possible to avoid crossover and allow adequate time for cleaning and sanitizing between sessions.
- EQUIPMENT AND LAP LANES – Lap Lanes will remain in place. Participants may need to duck under the lane marker or slip in the lane at the shallow end and move to a depth comfortable for you to exercise in. Equipment will be cleaned and disinfected before and after class. After class finishes, please follow directions on setting equipment down for staff to clean and disinfect.
- RESERVATION SYSTEM – To ensure physical distancing, we’ve developed a reservation system. Registration is required and is accessible through your UNC Wellness Centers membership account. For more information visit, https://uncwellness.com/covid-19-updates/in-person-group-fitness/
- CONFIDENT INSTRUCTORS & PATIENT STUDENTS – Instructors will deliver modified classes with less travel in the pool to assist with physical distancing.
While some measures may prove to be inconvenient, we are focused on providing you the best care possible. Abiding by these guidelines will help ensure the well-being of our members and staff. Thank you for your cooperation. For any questions or to share your feedback on our group fitness programming, please contact Paula Keck, Fitness Programs Manager, at Paula.Keck@unchealth.unc.edu.