COVID-19 Update Regarding Aquatic Venues:
Can the COVID-19 virus spread through pool and spa water? According to the CDC, there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through treated pool/spa water, as the virus is susceptible to destruction/inactivation by proper sanitizer levels (chlorine/bromine). The risk of transmission at such venues is largely via direct person-to-person transmission, or from hard contact surfaces such as furniture, hand rails, door/gate handles, bathroom fixtures, etc.
Those aquatic facilities choosing to operate are encouraged to follow the following guidelines and procedures, as set forth by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, and the CDC.
OSDH Guidance Document for Pools Regarding COVID-19
OSDH Guidance Document for Pools Regarding COVID-19 (en español)
OSDH Guidance for Swim Schools and Similar Facilities
OSDH Employer Guidance for COVID-19
CDC info on COVID-19 and Water
Social Distancing Guidance from CDC
Considerations from the CDC for Reopening Spas Closed for an Extended Period of Time
Guidance from the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance for Aquatic Facilities Regarding COVID-19
Oklahoma’s Open Up & Recover Safely (OURS) Plan
Public Bathing Places (Pools & spas)
A “Public Bathing Place” (PBP) is any pool, spa, water attraction, or therapeutic venue used by a group of people, whether “open to the general public”, or only serving a specific group of people. Those facilities not included in the definition are: splash pads (whether recirculating or not), where there is no standing water; HOA’s with fewer than 30 homes; saline float tanks; and residential (backyard) pools. Pools “Open to the General Public” are those that allow unrestricted admission to the facility during regular hours, with or without a fee.
Each PBP is required to maintain an annual operating license issued by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). The cost is $125.00 for a new facility or new owner, and $75.00 for annual renewal, in addition to late fees if not paid on time. Those pools originally built as PBP’s but no longer in-use, require an annual “Securing Fee” of $50.00, until permanently demolished and/or filled in. For questions regarding the OSDH pool license and securing fees, their office can be reached at (405) 271-5243, firstname.lastname@example.org, or their website chs.health.ok.gov. You can renew your state health license(s) online here.
Those PBP’s located within the municipal limits of Oklahoma City or Edmond, must also maintain an annual license from the Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD). These licenses are $50.00 per license year, and always expire June 30 of each year. This license fee can be paid online at occhd.org/payment.
Certified/trained operator required
Each facility must be maintained under the supervision and direction of a properly trained operator. The Operator must be a full-time supervisory employee at each facility. Many times, a facility needs more than one operator to cover the facility for weekends, vacation, illness, etc. For safety reasons, operators should be able to read understand English. OCCHD offers PBP Operator training and certification courses (aka Pool School).
In this course, a Public Bathing Place Operator will learn the following:
•Public Bathing Place code requirements (state and local)
•Water quality, water balance, and proper record-keeping
•Recirculation systems (filters, feeders), their function and general operation
•Health and safety topics such as recreational waterborne illnesses, entrapment, drowning prevention, etc.
Certification issued by OCCHD is good for 3 years from the date of the
exam. We recognize certifications obtained through Tulsa Health Department
(THD), OSDH, or NSPF. Facilities located in Oklahoma City or Edmond must obtain
the OCCHD certificate. Bring your current THD, OSDH, or NSPF certificate and a
government-issued photo ID to our office to obtain an OCCHD certificate for $8.
If certified through another agency/organization not listed above, a copy of
your curriculum must be submitted to the PBP coordinator for consideration,
before a reciprocal certificate can be issued.
Oklahoma State Department of Health
The State Health Department is currently offering an online presentation and exam, due to the COVID-19 restrictions. You can find the material and online test on their website here.
Those who obtain the NSPF certification will need to show knowledge of state requirements before they can be approved as Oklahoma City/County pool operators (and will still need to obtain an OCCHD certificate if in OKC/Edmond, but the expiration date will match what’s on the NSPF Cert).
Enrollment and Payment for occhd's operator training
OCCHD offers both a One-Day Pool Operator Training Course (Pool School), with exam, and a monthly Challenge Test for those wishing only to renew their certificates. For either option, the fee is $40, and must be submitted in advance, along with a completed registration form and “Affidavit of Lawful Presence” (second page of the registration form). Your spot will not be reserved until completed registration with affidavit and payment have been received.
Mail- You can mail the registration form with a check made payable to “OCCHD”.
In-Person- You can come to our office and pay in person with cash, check, or money order (payable to “OCCHD”).
Online- Download the registration form, fill it out, and save it to your computer. Email the completed form to email@example.com, and pay the $40 via credit card at occhd.org/payment (select >>Pool School “Operator Training”<<. Be sure to include in the comments the name of the individual(s) taking the class, and the date of the class, as well as your online payment order number.
*Smoking/Vaping is not allowed on OCCHD agency property and grounds. Anyone observed smoking will be escorted off property by security, and will not be certified, and no refund will be issued.*
Class date and/or enrollee name may be changed up to 3 business days in advance of the class. A confirmation of enrollment will be sent to the email address provided on the registration form, along with directions to the class or challenge test location.
If there are questions, to check an enrollment, or to make changes, please call (405) 425-4348, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.