Orcas - COVID-19 info


COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus mostly found in animals, but when humans become infected, symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on a number of variables. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Tragic consequences of this virus are being experienced around the world, including within Canada. There are many ongoing challenges for all of us to manage. For our Canadian aquatics community, a safe and responsible return to swimming is paramount. The intent of the following information is not to provide permission to return to sport, but rather to supply the reader with a guide to current medical recommendations in an attempt to mitigate risks related to COVID-19. The goal is to avoid becoming infected and spreading to other people in the community. 

COVID-19 has a fragile lipid outer membrane, and is therefore highly susceptible to soaps and oxidants, such as chlorine. According to the Centre for Disease Control, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools, hot tubs or spas. Proper operation maintenance, disinfection with chlorine or bromine of pools should inactivate the virus (CDC 2020). A related coronavirus which caused the SARS epidemic in 2003, was found to be inactivated by UV treatment and disinfectors. 


Swimmers may only have one sport or performance cohort. In order to change cohorts, there must be a minimum of 14 days between training with either cohort. 


Every Athlete will be required to complete a prescreening checklist before arriving at the Manluk Centre. This checklist will be offered digitally by following this link: 


This link will also be posted on our Facebook page and will be emailed out to parents at the beginning of the season.

Athletes must answer ‘NO’ to all questions prior to attending any training session either digitally or physically.

An athlete that is required to leave a training session as a consequence of experiencing signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 is required to contact their physician to consider the appropriateness of further investigations. Further investigations may include a test for COVID-19, which then may lead to the notification of appropriate public health officials regarding a positive test result. Public health officials will determine any requirements related to facility and/or group operations, as well as any requirements around contact tracing as it relates to managing the spread of the virus. The athlete may not return until receiving clearance from the physician, and if a test for COVID-19 was completed, a negative test result will be required before further training is permitted. 

Athletes at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are recommended to review their specific health concerns with their primary care provider prior to attending training sessions. Common underlying health conditions which may place an individual at higher risk would include hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and those who are otherwise immunocompromised.


If an athlete receives a positive test result for COVID-19, the following steps will be taken: 

  • The athlete is removed from the training group immediately. 
  • Team training will be suspended, and all team members are placed in self-isolation. 
  • The local public health authority will provide further management recommendations which may include further testing, and contact tracing. 
  • Any further team members who develop symptoms will be referred to the appropriate public health authority (AHS) or help-line (811) for guidance on testing and appropriate management.
  • Information will stay confidential between the club and those who receive a positive test result

Team training could resume if: 

  • All team members undergo self-isolation for 14 days and no other member has developed symptoms. 
  • All team members are cleared to return to group training by their physician in accordance with Provincial guidelines. 


If you find yourself ill with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, 

  • Remain at home except to get urgent medical care. 
  • Do not go to work, school, pool, or other public places. 
  • Cancel non urgent appointments. 
  • Do not use public transport. 
  • Notify your doctor or local health department by phone, as testing may be required. 
  • Monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention if you are having difficulty breathing, are unable to drink fluids, or if your illness is significantly worsening. 
  • Wear a face mask when around others, particularly when physical distancing cannot be maintained. 
  • Separate from household members, at least 2 meters at all times. 
  • Do not have visitors. 


  • Athletes are not to leave equipment or mesh bags at the facility. All equipment needs to be brought home and thoroughly cleaned after each training session. 
  • Personal items and clothing (backpacks, jackets, shoes, etc.) brought in by athletes should be kept to a minimum. 
  • Backpacks and bags will not be permitted on the pool deck.
  • Sharing of water bottles is prohibited.


  • Athletes are asked to show up no more than 5 minutes early for their scheduled practice and are asked to stay no longer than 5 minutes after their scheduled practice. This includes the use of the changerooms.
  • Athletes should arrive ready to swim in their suits prior to arriving for practice.
  • Changerooms are available but swimmers are asked to leave the facility as quickly as possible.
  • Physical distancing must be maintained at all times in the changerooms and the rest of the facility.
  • Parents should drop their swimmers off at the front doors of the Manluk Centre and remain in their vehicles for the duration of the practice.