Makai Swim School and swim schools across the state of California have successfully proved that swim lessons are an essential service and should be allowed to operate during the pandemic. On Dec. 8, the California Department of Health (CDPH) deemed swim schools across the state of California essential businesses.
California only deemed infant swim classes for children ages 12 months and younger as essential going into the spring and summer months. However, as the weather got warmer, we saw what no access to swim lessons did to children throughout the state and the country. The rate of drownings grew at an alarming rate.
As an outdoor facility, Makai Swim School was able to open under Napa Counties COVID-19 public pool guidelines. We took the guidelines from the county as well as the various coronavirus guidelines for operating business from the CDC and created our own handbook on how we could safely operate our program and protect our students, families, and staff while still providing a truly essential service for children of all ages in our community and surrounding communities.
Some of the steps we took to operate under these conditions were to limit the number of people in our facility, social distance the classes in the pool, require everyone to wear a mask in the facility, socially distance all seating within the facility, all teachers wear clear face shields and all staff wear masks, temperature checks of everyone at the main entrance, and cleaning of all tactile surfaces on a high frequency basis. It was through steps like these that we were able to operate for a six-month season with zero COVID incidents.
Like many swim schools throughout the state, Makai Swim School is a small business that faced the strenuous financial implication of COVID-19 related closures and stipulations. We are thankful to all of our Makai families who trusted us to run our lifesaving program in the safest manner possible. We will re-open in March 2021 for another swim season with the same safety precautions proven effective as well as new ones that are presented by the CDPH and the CDC.
Tami Nixon, owner
Makai Swim School