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Managing COVID-19 Risk at Public Aquatic Venues

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Presenters: Michele Hlavsa, Joseph Laco, Craig Sears, Shawn DeRosa, Tracynda Davis

 

Summary

While the CDC states that COVID-19 cannot survive in a properly treated pool and hot tub, that does not mean that public aquatic venues do not provide an opportunity for the potential spread of COVID-19. Reopening any business or establishment in these times is not without some risk to staff and members/guests. This session will examine how to manage those risks during COVID-19 and how to implement changes, such as social distancing and regular cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, for long-term venue management during these unprecedented times.

 

Learning Objectives

  • Review CDC, PHTA and other guidelines being used for aquatic venues
  • Identify high areas of risk during COVID-19
  • Discuss successful aquatic venue management during COVID-19

 

Presenter Bios

Commander Joe Laco is an active duty service-member with the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) and is stationed at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. CDR Laco works closely with the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, the Center for Preparedness and Response, and the CDC Emergency Operations Center. His work focuses largely on Recreational Water, Vector Control, Emergency and Outbreak Response, Food Safety, Drinking Water, Wastewater, Safety and PPE, and Hazardous Materials. He was the USPHS recipient of the 2019 Edward Moran Award and the 2017 Environmental Health Officer Responder of the Year Award. CDR Laco has more than 23 years of experience working in federal and state government, clinical and research laboratories, and private industry. He received his Baccalaureate Degree (Biology) from Ohio University in 1995, and a Master of Science Degree (Environmental Health) from East Tennessee State University in 2001. He is a Registered Sanitarian and Registered Environmental Health Specialist through the National Environmental Health Association.

Joe Laco

 

Michele Hlavsa, RN, MPH, is Chief of the U.S. CDC's Healthy Swimming Program. Her areas of expertise include recreational water– associated illness, particularly when caused by Cryptosporidium. She has worked on a number of outbreak investigations of recreational water–associated illness at CDC and collaborates with U.S. and foreign public health authorities and the private sector to develop appropriate prevention and control measures. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the College of New Jersey and a master’s in public health/epidemiology from Emory University. Michele was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer prior to joining the Healthy Swimming Program.

Michele Hlavsa

 

Craig Sears is President and Owner of Sears Pool Management Consultants, a 23-year old firm specializing in the operation and management of commercial swimming pool facilities in the Metro Atlanta area. Craig received a degree in Biology from Washington and Lee University and an MBA in Management from Georgia State University. With over 25 years’ experience in the aquatics industry, Craig has been a lifeguard, a swim coach, swim lesson instructor, pool manager, sales manager, and even a bartender before founding Sears Pool Management in 1997. Craig served as President of the GA Chapter of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals from 2012-2013 and continues to serve on the state Board of Directors.  In March 2012, Craig founded the non-profit Greater Atlanta Water Safety Alliance, a chapter of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.  Its mission is to reduce drowning and the spread of RWIs by increasing water safety awareness through community seminars and events, and to be an advocate for recreational swimming and the sport of competitive swimming. Craig has achieved various aquatic designations and certifications including an APSP Certified Service Professional, APSP Certified Building Professional, NSPF Certified Pool Operator, American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor Trainer, NSPF Instructor, and an APSP course instructor. Most recently, Craig received the APSP Fellows designation in 2018. Craig is passionate about aquatics and seeks to better the industry in the areas of safety, professionalism, and minimizing environmental impact. 

Craig Sears

 

Shawn DeRosa, the former Northeast Regional Director for the National Recreation and Park Association, is very familiar with issues pertaining to park and recreation agencies. Before joining NRPA staff, Shawn worked as the Aquatics Program Coordinator for the Massachusetts State Forrest and Park System (now known as the Department of Conservation and Recreation). While working for the state parks system, Shawn oversaw 66 aquatic facilities including 38 inland beaches, 6 ocean beaches, and 20 swimming pools. For five years, Shawn was a member of the Adjunct Faculty of Salem State College where he taught courses for the Department of Sport, Fitness and Leisure Studies - one of the few colleges in the nation which offers a specialized concentration in Aquatic Administration.

Shawn brings over 30 years’ experience in aquatics as a lifeguard, instructor trainer, Certified Pool Operator, Aquatic Facility Operator Instructor, Safe Swimming Beaches Instructor and aquatics director. He also served for three years on the National Recreation and Park Association's Board of Directors for the Aquatic Facility Operator program where Shawn helped guide the NRPA Aquatic Branch in strengthening the AFO program and in developing the Aquatic Facility Technician program.

In November 2009, Shawn DeRosa was selected to be a member of the American National Red Cross "Sounding Board" for the American Red Cross Lifeguarding Program. Retained by Krames/Staywell as a Subject Matter Expert in the development of the Red Cross training program, Shawn was instrumental in developing and reviewing the 2012 Lifeguarding program materials.

A member of the Technical Advisory Group for the 2000 revisions to American Red Cross Lifeguarding Program, Shawn helped edit and author the Lifeguard Training text and develop related program materials. In 2002, Shawn served as an external reviewer and technical consultant for the latest revisions to the Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer program. In 2003 Shawn accepted the invitation to serve as a member of the American Red Cross Lifeguard Management Development Team, helping to develop the new Lifeguard Management program.

Tracynda Davis

 

Tracynda Davis has over 15 years of environmental and public health experience working in local, state, and federal health agencies crafting regulatory guidance and training public health officials on federal, state, and local regulations. She is Vice President of the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC) and is the Technical Advisor for Aquatic and Recreational Health for the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and serves as a peer reviewer for NEHA’s Journal of Environmental Health.

Tracynda Davis