Updated: Dec 6, 2020
Salisbury University has been questioning the reopening of on-campus facilities throughout this semester, but with the recent news of the pool reopening, the question arises: are the right decisions being made?
First, let’s talk about how SU has handled this semester, especially given the difficult circumstances and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SU has been strict with their COVID-19 testing policy. All faculty, staff and students are required to have a COVID-19 test with a negative result every 30 days in order to maintain access to SU’s facilities.
SU has been adherent to their COVID-19 testing policy and has also taken additional precautions, such as required self-health assessments for those entering campus facilities.
SU has also limited facility spaces at Maggs gymnasium, weight rooms, racquetball courts, indoor tennis courts and even the University Fitness Club.
Personally, I’ve been to UFC and Maggs plenty of times this semester and I can honestly say that SU employees at these on-campus facilities have been doing a fine job of enforcing COVID guidelines and keeping everything sanitized throughout the day.
Not only do the employees maintain the COVID-19 practices and standards, but SU students are also doing their part by keeping their masks on while inside, cleaning their equipment once finished and of course, keeping a safe distance of 6 feet between one another.
Considering the necessary steps campus facilities have taken to ensure safety of SU students, the reopening of the pool would be just as safe due to the strict guidelines that will continue to be enforced. Since SU has proven to keep students, faculty and staff safe, while still opening the facilities to all members, their decision to reopen is likely a good one.
Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an article by Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals based in New Jersey, they highlight the possible potential of chlorine inactivating the coronavirus.
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that when swimming pools are properly maintained, the chlorine in the water should “inactivate” coronavirus, which would prevent the virus from spreading. This makes sense, because there’s no evidence that coronavirus spreads to people through the water in pools, according to the CDC.”
Chlorine is known for generally killing most bacteria in pools and I never gave it a thought of how that would come into play with COVID-19.
Surely, this isn't to say that chlorine will completely prevent the possibility of contracting the coronavirus; however, it is comforting to realize that the CDC is optimistic about chlorine possibly “inactivating” the coronavirus.
In addition to the benefits of chlorine, we must still stay vigilant and follow local and federal laws regarding social distancing and practicing other safety measures.
It’s assuring to know that SU has done a safe job in attempting to bring gull life back to “normal.”
With many on-campus facilities reopening, I believe SU is making the right decisions all while prioritizing gulls’ safety first.
By GEORGE SHERIKJIAN
Photo image by Brad Boardman.