Please note that the Governor’s executive orders, CDC/OSHA guidelines, and ordinances in force with counties, local municipalities, and individual facilities should be followed at all times and, if stricter, overrule any contradictory guidance provided here.
These best practices are presented solely as guidance for NC Swimming member clubs to develop plans to properly respond should a swimmer or coach report a positive COVID-19 test during NC’s recovery phases. Clubs may enact their own guidelines as long as they comply with CDC guidelines, privacy laws, and with national, state, and local orders. Clubs should review plans with their boards (if applicable) and legal counsel to confirm that they are most appropriate and complete for their organization and facilities. Clubs should also consider asking for assistance from their local health department should an infection be reported. These best practices are based on information available as of June 15, 2020 and complement the NC Swimming Best Practices in Phases 1&2 previously published.
Clubs should establish and publicize return to practice procedures for two specific situations:
- A swimmer/coach/family member reports a positive COVID-19 test result
- Close contacts (as defined by the CDC) of a swimmer/coach/family member who has reported a positive COVID-19 test result
These policies should at least meet the CDC requirements for being around other people after infection or possible infection. Clubs may choose to require a negative test result for infected members and their close contacts, a doctor’s note, a stated self-quarantine period, etc.
If a swimmer/coach reports that they have tested positive for COVID-19, the club’s priorities are:
- Concern for the ill swimmer/coach
- Protection of the ill swimmer’s/coach’s privacy and the privacy of their close contacts
- Alerting close contacts of the swimmer/coach
- Notifying facility management
- Confirming safety measures are in place to protect other swimmers/coaches/facility personnel and that they are being implemented correctly and diligently
- Reassuring other club members
If a swimmer/coach reports that they have tested positive for COVID-19, they should not attend practices or other swim team events until they meet at least the CDC’s criteria for being around other people after infection:
- 3 days with no fever without the use of fever reducing medication AND
- Symptoms improved AND
- 14 days since symptoms first appeared or since positive test for those without symptoms.
- Teams may require additional criteria such as a doctor’s note stating that the person is cleared to return to practice, a negative FDA-authorized nasal swab tests result or two consecutive negative tests conducted at least 24 hours apart, longer quarantine periods, etc.
The club should request that the swimmer/coach identify any other team members—swimmers, coaches, volunteers, facility staff, other members’ families—with whom they or their family members living in the same house had close contact in the two days prior to the onset of symptoms or the positive diagnosis. Close contact refers to interactions between individuals within 6 feet of each other for longer than 15 minutes.
Without naming the swimmer/coach, the club should reach out to those team members identified as close contacts, or their parents if the members are under 18, with a message such as this:
Someone in our club has tested positive for Covid-19 and they have identified you/your swimmer as a close contact according to the CDC definition. Even if you/your swimmer is not currently experiencing symptoms, we strongly recommend that you/your swimmer seek the immediate attention of your health care provider and isolate at home for 14 days according to CDC guidelines. Please do not come to practice until you/your swimmer is cleared by your doctor or meets the criteria our club has established for close contacts’ return to practice.
Clubs should disclose the report to the facility so that appropriate cleaning and disinfecting procedures can be implemented. The facility is not required to close but may choose to do so or be instructed to do so by the local health department.
Clubs should immediately review their safety plans in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and review those procedures with staff and facility personnel. Taking a proactive hand in maximizing safety will reassure coaches, facilities, and families that strict precautions will be observed. Refer to the NCS best practices guidelines previously provided and posted on https://swimnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/NC-Swimming-Return-to-Operations-Best-Practices-5_6_20.pdf
Clubs may choose to alert other non-close contact team members with a statement such as this:
A member of our team tested positive for COVID-19 on (date) and is now self-isolating. Any close contacts have been advised and are self-isolating as well. If you were not already advised that you were a close contact, then you are not. If you have questions about COVID-19 or your personal health situation please call your doctor and look at the CDC website. The club is here to support all of our members during this difficult time and we all send our best wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery to our ill teammates.
Take the opportunity to again thoroughly communicate your club’s prevention protocols, rules, and expected behaviors to swimmers and their parents including but not limited to these recommended best practices:
- Remind swimmers and coaches not to come to practice if they 1) have had COVID-19 and do not have a doctor’s note permitting them to return to practice, 2) do not feel well, 3) have a temperature above 100.00º F , 4) have been around anyone who has had COVID-19 in the past two weeks, feels ill, or has a fever, 5) traveled to hot spots or outside the US but not completed the two-week self-quarantine period recommended by the CDC or required by state mandate.
- Require everyone to use face coverings except when in the pool or doing dryland.
- Strictly enforce proper social distancing at all times before, during, and after practice including extended personal space during dryland or other physical activities.
- Encourage hand sanitizing upon entry and exit.
- Stringently prohibit congregating anywhere on the facility property, inside and out, by swimmers, staff, or parents.
- People will be nervous. Reassure them of your club’s and facility’s safety measures in place so they feel comfortable coming to practice.
- You are responsible for protecting the identity of any team members who report testing positive and for any close contacts they identify.
- Be a role model of personal responsibility. Require exemplary behavior of staff and swimmers.
- Do not give medical advice. Refer concerned team members and parents to their doctors, the CDC, or the NC Department of Health and Human Services if they have questions about COVID-19 or their personal health situation.