Last updated January 19, 2022
COVID-19 PROTOCOLS & CONTROL MEASURES
Dear H2O Families,
We’re looking forward to welcoming back our students on Saturday, January 22nd! We have always prioritized the safety of our families and staff, and in these uncertain times, this is no different. Over the coming weeks, it is likely that H2O Academy will have to adjust and alter its normal operations to manage fluctuating levels of staff and student absence. Some of these changes may inevitably occur at short notice although we will endeavour to give you as much advance warning as we can. We will do everything we can to continue to run things smoothly, but the health and safety of all our students & staff remains our priority as we continue to teach our students the life skill of swimming. We know we can count on your understanding, honesty, and kindness as we navigate this time together. Thank you for your support.
As you know, our COVID-19 protocols and control measures can and will likely change in accordance with the Government’s Public Health Orders. In an effort towards continuing to provide a safe environment, it is imperative that the staff, families, and students attending the H2O Academy adhere to the following protocols and control measures that have been put in place to help to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We reserve the right to refuse service to people who are not respecting the rules.
Staff – our entire team of staff is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Viewers – for the 2022 Winter Term, we will only be allowing adults who are fully vaccinated (QR code or Government issued proof required, for e.g., military yellow card) to enter our facility.
Students – students under the age of 12 are not required to show proof of vaccination at this point in time as outlined in the current public health orders. Students 12 and up must show proof of vaccination to enter the facility.
This is a temporary change in our facility. The pandemic is not yet over, and many of our clients are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine – it is our duty to protect them and prevent transmission.
Facility Entrance Time
The earliest you can enter the facility is 15 minutes before your class starts. You will be required to check in at the front desk before every lesson. Please arrive with bathing suits on under clothes to lessen the time spent in the facility and sanitize your hands upon entry.
Upon entry, please use the hand sanitizer located in the lobby. We have hand sanitizers mounted to the walls and several Lysol wipes stations throughout our facility. There are 3 sinks in the washroom area for hand washing. Enhanced cleaning and sanitation will occur by H2O staff, and we’ve also hired a professional cleaning service. Blow-dryers are not allowed in the facility due to COVID-19.
Water Sanitation & Disinfection
Pool environments are a relatively safe environment because of how the water is treated – chlorine inactivates viruses. Our pool is disinfected using chlorine with an enhanced UV disinfection system– the latest in commercial pool technology. You’ll notice that you won’t smell chlorine in our pool because it’s properly balanced. The “chlorine” smell is not due to chlorine, but chloramines that build up in the pool water when it is improperly treated. We also get the question about salt water vs. chlorine pools a lot… did you know that saltwater pools generate chlorine? This means that saltwater pools are not chlorine free: 2NaCl (salt) + 2H2O →2NaOH + H2 + Cl2 (chlorine).
We are reducing capacity in our facility due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant. We are allowing 1 adult per student. For parented classes this means that the adult accompanying the baby/toddler in the water counts as the 1 adult. This may change as the weeks go on, and if so, we will notify families.
Please try to avoid bringing additional siblings to view, however if it is unavoidable due to childcare then we can make an exception. For safety reasons all children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult in our facility as we are not a licensed childcare centre. It is not the lifeguard's or swim teacher's responsibility to supervise children who are not actively participating in a class.
Stay Home if you’re Sick
In our efforts to keep our swim school a safe place for learning, students must be kept at home when they are ill or have symptoms of COVID-19. There are other situations when students must be kept at home and it is very important that you review the MB Health COVID-19 checklist with your student before attending your lesson.
If a staff member gets sick, this could wipe out our programming and force our business to close. We have zero tolerance for any clients that are displaying COVID-19 symptoms. All H2O staff are trained on our protocols, and if they notice anyone in our facility who is displaying symptoms, they will kindly ask you to exit the pool and facility.
Missed classes for student illness or otherwise are non-refundable. We completely understand that having to pay for one or two missed classes can be irritating, but our costs remain the same whether everyone is present or not. Therefore, H2O Academy is under no obligation to refund or transfer your money if you can’t attend part, or all, of the classes.
When is it safe to return to the facility?
Golden rule: you must be asymptomatic and not sick to enter our facility. You are required to follow public health orders regarding isolation requirements due to COVID-19 exposures or international travel (requirements may be different for unvaccinated children versus adults).
Facility – maintain physical distancing except for brief exchanges as per Government recommendations. Please avoid lingering in communal areas (e.g., vestibule, showers, lobby, etc.).
Pool – our Health Inspector has informed us that during a 30-minute lesson, you can have up to a maximum of 10 minutes of closer contact. Our teachers have been trained to keep their distance and there will also be some instances where closer contact will happen. Most classes are scheduled on 15 minutes staggered starts to help with distancing, and the pool will be roped off into class sections.
Class Mustering Points – All baby/toddler classes will meet in front of the Viewers Lounge windows. All other classes will meet in front of the corner 1 or corner 2 signs of the pool (you will meet in that same corner for the rest of the term). Our friendly lifeguards and teachers will be on hand to assist you if needed.
Staff – masks are required indoors for all staff. Staff working in the water are required to wear a water mask.
Adults in parented classes – will be provided with a plastic water-appropriate mask for an optional donation to the Children’s Hospital Foundation. Donate online at our fundraising page: http://chfm.convio.net/goto/h2oacademy. Please bring it back for each class, replacement masks are $5.00 and can be purchased at reception.
Viewers – Masks are mandatory for all viewers ages 5 and up in our facility.
Students – all students ages 5 and up must wear a mask in the facility but cannot wear a mask in the pool as it is a safety issue.
Masks must remain on at all times and cannot be removed for eating or drinking.
Closure due to Staffing Shortage
If there is insufficient staff to provide instruction and appropriate supervision, classes may be cancelled and in an extreme case, our swim school may need to temporarily close. This will be communicated to families as early as possible so that you can plan accordingly. If H2O cancels a class due to an ill staff member, you will be notified via email and will receive a credit for that class which will appear on your account.
Notification of Positive COVID-19 Cases
Manitoba Public Health has announced changes to how positive cases will be communicated to the community by shifting from contact tracing to risk mitigation. H2O will not be notifying families about positive student cases; however, H2O will notify families if a teacher has tested positive.
What do I do if my student tests positive?
If your student tests positive, please send us a message through our website so we can inform staff and take measures to reduce the spread.
What if there’s another shutdown?
We will contact all families if this happens and inform every one of the plans. Fees will be prorated, and credit will be issued for all missed classes post-closure. If a refund is requested, there is a $25 processing fee.
We recognize the inconvenience this may mean for your family and thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
1. What to Bring: please review our handbook for what to bring (you will need a towel, bathing suit, lock for locker, indoor shoes/sandals, goggles if you want them, etc.). Please note that babies and toddlers must wear swim diapers under their bathing suit. You can purchase reusable and disposable diapers at our H2O Store or in the diaper section at your local retailer.
2. Facility Tour: you won’t need a facility tour like we used to provide at the Winter Club as there is a lot of signage that will point you in the right direction. Check out our quick facility tour below!
A few facility items we want to highlight:
No outdoor shoes are allowed in the facility, there is storage in the front vestibule.
A diaper genie is in the washroom areas for diaper disposal.
No nudity in facility (except for private change rooms).
Shower is Rinse & Go style and is located on deck – no shampoo/conditioner, no nudity. Please keep your plastic mask on in the shower (cloth masks cannot get wet).
Only 1 fully vaccinated viewer per student.
Masks are mandatory.
Ample parking in front lot.
3. Equipment: we provide all class equipment except for goggles so there is no need to bring your own equipment unless you’d like to use goggles. All H2O families receive a 20% discount at Swimming Matters – let them know you’re with H2O to receive your discount. As mentioned above, chlorine inactivates viruses.
4. Fall Registration: opens on August 23rd at 3:00 pm. All registration is done online through your account.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us. Please keep in mind, the response time might be a little longer as our email and call volume is extremely high due to our backlog from March 2020. Our families have always been the heart of our business, and we’re grateful for your ongoing support. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and please do not ask us to break the rules, we can’t afford to be fined or shut down by the Government. We are extremely excited to welcome back our families and meet all the new ones… see you at the pool!
“It takes a village,” and we are confident that the H2O Academy Community can work together to create a safe environment for our families.
Do we have to wear masks in the pool?
Students will not have to wear masks in the pool. All pool deck staff and adults in parented classes will wear water appropriate masks. The first water mask is complementary, and replacement masks are $5.00 each, so be sure to bring it back every week!
Can I get a credit or refund due to reasons related to COVID-19?
At anytime, families can request a credit that will never expire! If your situation requires you to request a refund, please email us and we can do so - please note there is a $25.00 processeing fee. We really appreciate all of the families that have supported us during this difficult time.