Two New Jersey high school swimmers, Andy Moss and Jerry Zheng, both members of the Somerset Hills YMCA swim team, reacted on Tuesday to Governor Phil Murphy announcing that all indoor sports would be shut down.
“Yeah, we were definitely disappointed in the news; however, we know that the pandemic is super serious and especially given the rise in cases, it’s more important now than ever to take the precautions and the guidelines seriously,” Moss told “Fox & Friends.”
On the other hand, swimming was being allowed after the Centers for Disease Control backed the science that chlorine stopped the spread of the coronavirus.
“Our Y, staff at the Y, our coaches, fellow swimmers have done a terrific job keeping us healthy and safe and with the given study showing there were no reported cases across the 44 pools in New Jersey. We feel like we’ve earned the right. We have evidence, we’ve proven ourselves that we can train in a safe manner,” Moss said.
NEW JERSEY INDOOR POOLS REPORT NO CASES OF CORONAVIRUS SINCE JULY, STUDY CLAIMS
Although Murphy announced the restriction Monday after the spike in positive cases throughout the state, a small study published last week by the New Jersey Swim Safety Alliance, an all-volunteer organization, has claimed to have found no reported instances of coronavirus spread at indoor pool facilities within the state.
The study, which was published by the volunteer group last week, tracked 44 indoor pools in New Jersey since the facilities reopened July 2 with 25% capacity.
According to the findings from the NJSS, owners and managers of indoor pool facilities that were surveyed reported no positive cases of coronavirus. Since reopening, 212,641 people have visited one of the 44 pools in the limited sample.
Zheng said that the “coaches and the organization worked very hard to ensure that every swimmer and every athlete was safe during practices and meets.”
Zheng described the protocols taken to ensure safety: filling out a questionnaire on an app called TeamSnap, wearing a mask in the facility, and getting a temperature check before entering the pool.
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“Then, during practices, we are socially distanced we put our bags and our equipment in a designated area that’s six feet apart from other people, and during meets, we all wear masks until we race, so we have our masks on until we get to the blocks and then we put it in a little plastic bag and put it in a bin behind the blocks and then we dive in and swim our event and after we get out of the pool, we put our mask back on and we do our normal warm down procedures,” Zheng said.
Zheng said that the swimming competitions are necessary in order to continue swimming on a college team.
“We are looking forward to swimming in college and we are trying to get times that would be very crucial for the recruiting process, so, this is a very big part of our lives and we are ensuring that we can do anything to keep the sport going.”