On behalf of the committee we would like to issue the following statement on Covid-19.
I appreciate that a number of you will think that this is a disproportionately stringent response at this stage; however, given the fact that a significant proportion of our club membership will fall in a higher risk category combined by the high risk of transmission in small, close contact communities it is time to act to protect our membership.
As such the following will be put in place as of tomorrow morning:
- Closure of the changing room: We have taken the decision to close the changing rooms and any temporary indoor changing facility as of immediate effect. We appreciate that this may not be well received, however, after careful consideration we do not feel there is any other alternative. The enclosed space with lack of ventilation means that any virus particles may potentially persist for days on any contaminated surfaces and we would not be able to achieve sufficient safety standards with any simple cleaning measures. In addition, it is recognised that transmission risk is much higher in small intimate clubs like ours than in larger open events, the likes of which have already been cancelled by large bodies such as the medical royal colleges (to give one example). With the closure of changing room please remember that we will not have access to our usual swim emergency kit including rewarming sleeping bag and defibrillator. in the event of emergency serps-side please call 999 and seek immediate help from cafe staff.
- Tea and coffee: Unfortunately we will not be able to provide tea and coffee making facilities at this time. This goes along with the changing room closure as the use of communal cups without proper sterilisation in between users creates a high risk of transmission.
- Speeches: We will not be having any post race speeches until further notice. This is to prevent transmission during the close post race huddle.
- Races: Saturday morning races will continue at present. We do not think there is a high risk of transmission in the water, rather it is the pre and post race communal areas that pose the greatest risk. This may change going forward and we will keep you updated.
A request from the committee to members:
- Please follow basic Public Health England guidance (https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response). Anyone returning from at risk areas (see link) should NOT attend the club. Please follow governmental guidance on self isolation if you have a significant contact or travel history.
- Hand washing: Please, please wash your hands as much as possible- particularly before eating/drinking/touching your face.
- Reduce contact with others: Try to minimise face to face contact such as kissing other club members on greeting etc. Avoid sharing kit such as towels, goggles etc. There is not really evidence for this last comment but it seems sensible.
- If you have ANY SYMPTOMS SUCH AS COUGH, SNEEZING, FEVER, GENERALISED FEELING UNWELL PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE CLUB. It is better for you and everyone else if you stay at home.
Finally, if anyone is worried or unwell please call NHS 111 as a first port of call. Do not suffer in silence or try to sit it out without seeking advice. Similarly please try to stay away from GP surgeries etc as per government advice. As a club we all care about each other and want to ensure everyone is safe. Use your support networks as you would always. We are a family and even though COVID-19 may make us distance ourselves geographically it does not mean we are not there for each other.
Stay safe and see you at the pond (albeit a bit colder and wetter for a while).
Leanne, Sakura and Norman
Your Health and Safety officers on behalf of the President and the Committee