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We are OPEN!

Please make sure that you sign up before coming.

Please review the update and reminder (updated November 2020)

COVID Safety: Why Domes Are Better Than Other Buildings

As we plan to erect the bubble at the end of this month, we know that there have been questions in regard to if the risk of transmission of COVID-19 increases inside a dome. Here are a few key factors about ventilation and airflow inside the bubble:

  1. The Air Quality in the bubble resembles outdoor conditions. A typical dome/bubble contains 500,000 to 5,000,000 cubic feet of air; for a topical comparison, a typical classroom contains just 6,000 cubic feet of air.
  2. Dome Ventilation is remarkably better than most buildings. Under ASHRAE standards, a normal classroom’s ventilation is designed to move 222 cubic feet of air per minute; domes have a minimum of 50 times more outside fresh air!
  3. There is a ton of room to breathe in a dome. At 6-foot social distance, a dome provides about 800 cubic feet of ventilation air per person per minute; a typical classroom with 20 students would provide 11 cubic feet.

Update and Reminder

  • Pool Reservations are now limited to four visits a week for per individual to YWCA pool facility (Sunday through Saturday).
  • Reservations are required for each visit to the pool, for example:
    • 2 Lap Swims and 2 Family Swims

    • 3 Water Aerobics and 1 Lap Swim

    • 1 Water Workout and 3 Water Aerobics

    • 4 Family Swims (2 consecutive reservations are still counted as one visit)

  • Family Swim can now sign up for two consecutive time slots per day on the website, this will be counted as one daily visit, with a total of four visits a week allowed.
  • If you decide not to use your reserved time slot please cancel via the website as soon as possible to allow other members time to sign up for that time slot.
  • Please make sure you receive an email confirming your reservation/cancellation.

We ask that members honor this policy so we are able to provide pool time for as many members as possible.

If you do not use your reserved time slot, please cancel via the website to allow other members to sign up for that time. 

The reservation window on the website is open 24 hours in advance. Pool receptionist is not responsible for making reservations for members on the website.

Questions? Please contact the Aquatics Facility at pool@ywca-lowercapefear.org or 910-799-6820 ext. 109

Aquatic Member Guidelines

The YWCA Lower Cape Fear Aquatics Program wants to welcome back our members to the facility! This will be a new experience for you and our staff. We want to emphasize that our main focus will be the safety of all individuals. We respectfully request your patience as we navigate this new way of delivering programs that you have come to enjoy and benefit from. Following guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we have established the following protocols effective immediately. YWCA Aquatic Guidance will cover the following topics:

  • Social Distancing and Minimizing Exposure
  • Cloth Face Coverings
  • Cleaning and Hygiene
  • Monitoring for Symptoms
  • Protecting Vulnerable Populations

Social Distancing and Minimizing Exposure

Social distancing (“physical distancing”) means keeping space between yourself and other members and YWCA staff when using the facility. Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) apart from other people. The YWCA will abide by the following requirements and recommendations to support social distancing and minimizing exposure:

  1. The YWCA pool facility will limit the user capacity to no more than 50 individuals at any given time, including members and YWCA staff. User capacity will be counted throughout the entire facility, including in the water, on the pool deck, in the lobby, and the locker rooms.  Please note that we are going above and beyond the recommended Phase 2 user capacity guidelines at this time to ensure everyone’s safety. We will also ensure a maximum occupancy in the water of 10 people per 1,000 square feet, and sufficient social distancing with at least 6-foot separation between family units.
  2. Post signage reminding YWCA members and staff about social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from others).
  3. All chairs and lounges designated for use on the pool deck will be spaced at least 6 feet apart; unless the patrons are a family unit from the same household.
  4. We will provide marks on the floors of the lobby and locker rooms to indicate proper social distancing. Because sinks and showers are not 6 feet apart, we will limit use to every other sink and shower with designated sinks and showers marked off. Additionally, we will designate entrance and exit doors for the women’s locker room so members do not come face to face when entering and exiting.
  5. There will not be any shared tables available on the pool deck.
  6. The YWCA will limit lane use to one swimmer per lane when swim lanes are provided. When a swim coach is present coaching or overseeing a swim practice, swimmers per lane will be increased from two per lane to four. Additionally, members of the same household will be allowed to share a lane. Social distancing must still be practiced to the extent possible within the swim lane.
  7. The YWCA will mark off a six-foot perimeter around lifeguard chairs.
  8. The YWCA will advise all lifeguards and staff to stay 6 feet away from members to the extent possible, unless they are providing rescue and/or first aid care or checking temperatures.
  9. The new YWCA pool schedule will reflect staggered swimming times and program options to limit the number of individuals and family units in the pool area at the same time. Additionally, lap swim will be limited to 45 minutes per member to accommodate as many members as we can in a given day.  All 45 minute swim times will start on the bottom of the hour (i.e. 5:30 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m. etc.) Monday through Friday and will start at the top of the hour (i.e. 7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. etc.) on Saturdays and Sundays. During Family Swim time we will only allow eight family units in the shallow and deep ends for the 1 hour and 45 minute swim time. The 15 minutes between start times will allow staff to disinfect and give time for groups to move in and out of the facility.
  10. To limit contact and exposure, we have removed the following from the facility: water cooler, trash can tops, recycling boxes, lost and found, community towels, pool toys, goggle bag, and play noodles. Kickboards, buoys, water belts, and fitness noodles will be available in a limited capacity.
  11. The YWCA will encourage contactless payment options by phone, credit/debit card, and automatic billing.
  12. Finally, to minimize exposure we ask that you come prepared and dressed to swim. Please shower before and/or after your swim at home and limit the use of locker rooms when at all possible.

Cloth Face Coverings

  1. All YWCA staff members, age 5 and older, will be required to wear cloth face coverings when inside the lobby, pool office, locker room areas, and pool deck.
  2. YWCA members are required to wear cloth face coverings when entering and exiting the pool area, in the lobby and locker room areas, and when not in the water. Again, we require this for the protection and respect of other members and staff. We are in this together.
  3. We also advise you not to wear cloth face coverings when in the water, as it can be difficult to breathe through when wet.

Cleaning and Hygiene

  1. YWCA staff are required to wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer frequently to reduce the spread of transmission. We encourage YWCA members to follow the same hygiene recommendation.
  2. The YWCA will perform ongoing and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas (e.g., doors, doorknobs, rails, lounge chairs, vending machines, kickboards, restroom surfaces, diaper changing stations, and showers) with an EPA approved disinfectant for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), and increase disinfection during peak times or high customer density times.
  3. We will systematically and frequently check and refill hand sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol) and assure soap and hand drying materials are at sinks.
  4. Hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) will also be available at the front desk window.
  5. YWCA staff will disinfect lounge chairs on the pool deck between each use, allowing the disinfectant to sit for the necessary contact time recommended by the manufacturer.
  6. Rescue tubes for lifeguards will be disinfected between uses.

Monitoring for Symptoms

Conducting regular screening for symptoms can help reduce exposure.

  1. YWCA employees will be encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If they develop symptoms, they are required to notify the Aquatics Director and stay home.
  2. The YWCA will conduct daily symptom screening of employees and members at the pool front desk entrance, and will immediately send symptomatic workers or members home.  Additionally on each visit members will be asked a few CDC questions before entering:
    1. Have you had a fever of 100.4+ or COVID-19 symptoms?
    2. Have you had close contact with a COVID-19 positive person in the last 14 days?
    3. Are you currently awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test?
  3. YWCA employees who have symptoms when they arrive at work or become sick during the day will be immediately separated from other employees and members and sent home.
  4. We will post signage at the main entrance requesting that people who have been symptomatic with fever and/or cough not enter, such as Know Your Ws and Stop if You Have Symptoms flyers.
  5. Per CDC guidelines, if a YWCA employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is presumed positive by a medical professional due to symptoms, the employee will be excluded from work until:
    1. No fever for at least 72 hours since recovery (without the use of fever-reducing medicine, and
    2. Other symptoms have improved (e.g., coughing, shortness of breath), and
    3. At least 10 days have passed since the first symptoms.
  1. Per CDC guidelines, if a YWCA employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 but does not have symptoms, they will remain out of work until 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.
  2. A cleaning and disinfecting procedure will be implemented by designated personnel following CDC guidelines once sick YWCA employee or member leaves the facility.

Protecting Vulnerable Populations

Information on who is at higher risk for severe disease is available from the CDC and NC DHHS.

  1. The YWCA will encourage persons at higher risk to access the pool without the general population during early morning hours. To ensure safety of persons at higher risk and minimize contact, the following modifications will be made to current programming:
    • Water aerobics classes will be held during morning hours only with class size limited to 20.
    • Family swim will not be open until 11:30 a.m. M-F and 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays and 10:00 am Sundays.
    • Pool facility closed to all other programs during Swim Team training- 3:30- 5:30 PM, Monday-Thursday.
    • Pool parties will not be available during North Carolina’s Phase 3.
    • No guests with members or out of town guests during Phase 3.
    • No rentals to outside groups during Phase 3.
  2. The YWCA will enable staff to self-identify as high risk for severe disease and reassign work to minimize their contact with members and other employees.


For a complete list of COVID recommendations and guidance, please visit: