Phase 3 Pool Rules

The State of Virginia entered Phase 3 on Wednesday, July 1. The good news is that this allows MSTA to accommodate more people at the pool -- and even better news, no need to use Sign Up Genius to reserve a lane!

That said, given the Governor’s Phase 3 rules and our pool management company’s operating procedures, there are still some limits on how many people are allowed at one time inside of the pool area.  In addition, for the next few weeks, there will be some restrictions during peak hours on weekends.

Furthermore, we all must maintain social distancing and follow other practices, such as wearing face masks, that are aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
If a member does not comply with the following guidelines and/or is inappropriately argumentative, rude or belligerent with the guards on site, or other members, the Board may be forced to revoke that membership. Unfortunately, during Phase 2 we witnessed some of those inappropriate situations; this type of behavior is inappropriate and will not be tolerated.

Below are the guidelines that the MSTA members must follow, broken out into categories and Q&A.

Registration/Pool Limits

How many people will be allowed at the pool at one time?
We are limited to 125 total people in the pool area (inside of the fence line surrounding the pool decks) at one time. We will be vigilant about staying in compliance with this limit, and the guards/Premier will be keeping track of attendance.  Furthermore, you must maintain social distance between those members who are not in your immediate family.  Please know we will enforce both of these requirements.

Are we still required to use Signup Genius to reserve a spot?
No. We don’t anticipate that 125 people will show up at one time on a weekday (but please see below about weekends). If we reach that maximum number, we will need to stop people from entering the pool area.

But I’m a longtime member, why wouldn’t you let everyone in?
The Virginia guidelines are clear on capacity and we are subject to those rules.  We can be fined or shut down by Fairfax County for not being in compliance., which is the last thing we would want for MSTA.

Are there other restrictions?
Yes. No one with COVID-19 or known exposure to a COVID-19 case during the previous 14 days is permitted in the facility. No one with a fever (100.4 degrees or higher) or a sense of having a fever, a new cough and/or shortness of breath that cannot be attributed to another health condition, a new sore throat or new muscle aches, is permitted in the facility.

Can we bring guests?
Sorry, no guests are allowed at the pool at this time.

Pool Operations

Will you be opening the baby and intermediate pools?
Yes, although both have limited capacity in order to maintain social distancing, per the Governor’s rules.

Baby pool: At this time, given the guidelines and a small leak in this pool (which cannot be repaired until after the season) we can only allow one family at a time, on a first come, first served basis. Please limit your time to 30 minutes if another family is waiting to use the baby pool.

Intermediate pool: No more than 21 people may be in this pool area at a time.  The guards will be keeping count and will enforce the limit. Please limit your time to 30 minutes if others are waiting.

We recognize that this is not a perfect situation, but at least this will allow more families to enjoy this part of the pool area.

One rule that hasn’t changed: If your child is still in diapers, they must wear rubber diapers in the main pool. MSTA will enforce this rule.

Who will be enforcing the rules?
Lifeguards who are not on guard duty and Board members will be enforcing the rules. We ask that everyone be considerate to other members and to our guards. Unfortunately, we have witnessed some extremely rude and offensive behavior by a few members in recent weeks.

Keep in mind that most of the lifeguards are MSTA members and many of them are on the Marlins team. They also stepped up this season to become certified lifeguards; without them, we wouldn’t have been able to fully staff and open our pool.

On the Pool Deck

Will deck chairs or picnic table be available?
No.  Please bring your own chairs if you would like to sit and relax on deck. This reduces the number of surfaces that can be touched and would need to be thoroughly cleaned by MSTA staff after each use.

Will the snack bar be open?
No, unfortunately the snack bar will not be open this season. You’ll need to bring your own food and drinks, especially water. Please pick up your own trash and bring it out with you.

Are the grills available for use?
Sorry, unfortunately the grills will not be available at this time.

Are the bathrooms open?
Please come to the pool dressed and ready to swim. The locker rooms will not be open for showering and changing (they will be blocked off).
If a member needs to use the toilets in an emergency, they are available for use.

What else should I bring to the pool?
Please bring a face mask to wear if you need to enter the pool building. Per Virginia and other public health guidelines, we are requiring masks in enclosed areas.
We also recommend bringing your own hand sanitizer and wipes – it never hurts to have extras available for your family’s use.

Pool Hours

What are the pool hours?
The pool will be open on weekdays from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., and weekends from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

From July 13 to July 24, we will offer early morning adult lap swim Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. 

Beginning on July 27, the pool will be open every day at 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Swim team: We will be hosting two virtual swim meets on Wednesday, July 8, and Saturday, July 18.  The pool will open to members around 12:30 p.m. both days.
During a virtual meet, the Marlins will swim in the MSTA pool at the same time their competitors are swimming their own pool. We’ll compare times in different events to determine the winners.

Will you be opening for early morning swim/adding hours?
Yes. We were able to secure a lifeguard and can now offer early morning adult lap swim from July 13 to July 24, Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. 

Will there be adult swim every hour?
Yes. We will offer adult swim for 15 minutes at 45 minutes past the hour, every hour. We also will use that time to for extra cleaning.

Please note that on weekends, if we reach a maximum of 125 people in the pool area, we will need to clear the area for cleaning every one hour and 45 minutes. If that occurs, you will be required to pick up all of your belongings and clear the pool and pool deck. The pool will be closed for 15 minutes to allow guards to clean. The pool will then reopen. If you would like to re-enter the pool deck with your belongings at that time, you will be allowed to do so, provided other members are not waiting to enter.

Will some lanes be reserved for lap swimming?
Yes, as we always have, there will still be two lap lanes available at all times. They cannot be reserved separately by members.

In addition, please note that parts of pool will be reserved for 1-2 hours during the week to accommodate swim lessons and the tennis campers.

Other Questions

How do I sign up my child for swim lessons?
The swim team coaches are offering private swim lessons. To book a lesson, please contact the individual coach directly.

Will you be providing any refunds/partial refunds this season?
No. A “full membership” is an equity membership – we are all owners in MSTA. As such, ownership means that we have a shared responsibility for upkeep and maintenance of the pool and grounds.

Whether we were able to open the pool or not, the pool, facilities and grounds require regular maintenance to ensure they are running properly. Skipping pool maintenance one year likely means larger problems and excessive costs the following year.  

We recognize that this has been an unusual and unprecedented year. We believe that we are very fortunate to be one of the only clubs in the area offering a swim team this year, and that our tennis courts and green space have been open for everyone to enjoy.  Please follow the guidelines above and the signs in the pool area, so that all members can enjoy as much of MSTA for the remainder of this summer as we all can.