COVID-19 Update – May 30, 2020

DHARA Members,

Thank you for your patience as we continue to diligently work toward opening the pool in a safe way and adhering to guidelines from the state and county. As mentioned in our previous update, DHARA has been in regular communication with more than 30 pools across Northern Virginia to collectively determine best practices and recommendations and lobby our state officials for the most balanced and safe guidelines for Phases 1, 2 and beyond. For now, however, we want to provide an update on our status as the region has now entered Phase 1.

Our target opening date is Saturday, June 13, though we are making every effort to open earlier. We will update the membership accordingly if we are able to open before June 13. To open, our Pool Manager must finalize lifeguard staffing and scheduling and conduct important training, particularly new training related to operating procedures for Phase 1. Additionally, we are awaiting the arrival of ample PPE and cleaning chemicals to properly safeguard our staff and members.

Phase 1 Guidelines
During Phase 1, the state has set forth specific guidelines for aquatics facilities. Outdoor pools may open for lap swimming as long as they only allow one swimmer per lane. Along with that, the Board has developed a set of Rules & Regulations for Phase 1, as well as Phase 1 Opening Procedures.

Phase 1 Operating Hours
Hours for Phase 1 will be 7:00am – 8:30pm, with 30-minute cleaning breaks every 3 hours. Our open hours will be divided into reserved 30-minute time slots to promote orderly and safe operations for staff and members and to accommodate as many swimmers as possible. We have built an online reservation system that will go live in the next week for members to make lap swimming reservations during Phase 1:

  • Members must log into the DH website to make reservations.
  • Swimmers must be at least 15 years of age.
  • 30-minute swim slots will be available.
  • Members will be limited to up to three slots per week at first, which may change based on demand.
  • We request that members leave 10:30am – 11:30am on weekdays for our members over age 60.
  • If you have ADA requirements, please email the pool at

Beyond Phase 1?
The state has not yet determined when Phase 2 will start. Also, the state has not released Phase 2 guidelines for outdoor pools, and so we don’t know at this time what restrictions and allowances will be necessary. Once there is more clarity and guidance on Phase 2, the Board will update our procedures as we are able and will let all of you know the details and plans.

We realize lap swimming isn’t for everyone — and that many of you are eager to come enjoy the pool with your family. We understand, and want to be able to open the pool more broadly as soon as we can safely do so.

Thank you once again for your patience, understanding, and support as we continue to work through these plans.

Stay well and we look forward to seeing you at the pool very soon!

 The DHARA Board

DHARA COVID-19 Update – May 18, 2020

Dear DHARA Members,

The Board has continued to meet to discuss DHARA’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Below is an update on where things currently stand.

We continue to closely monitor news and guidance from the state and county with an eye towards opening in some capacity when it is safe and responsible to do so.

Recently, the Governor issued Executive Order 61 easing certain restrictions and introducing a plan and requirements for further easing. Arlington, along with other Northern Virginia counties expressed some concern with the timeline. As a result, the Governor issued an additional executive order that leaves existing restrictions in place for Northern Virginia at least through May 28 (Executive Order 62). If and when we are allowed to reopen, it appears (for now) there will be some level of restriction on the number of people allowed at the pool and available pool activities. Some information from the Governor on what Phase 1 might look like for the pool may be found in Executive Order 61 under “Fitness and Exercise Facilities.” Keep in mind that Arlington is not yet entering Phase 1.

Given the unique requirements of operating a community pool, DHARA has joined a large number of other Northern Virginia pools in requesting more clarity with respect to operating outdoor community pools. View the letter sent to the Governor’s Office.

Finally, the full Board, a task group focused on DHARA’s response to COVID-19, and our Pool Manager have continued to both deliberate internally and coordinate with other pools to develop plans for safely and responsibly reopening consistent with state and local guidance.

The Board has created a new webpage on the DHARA website where we will post additional information, including our Phase 1 opening plans, as the situation develops. The Board is meeting again this week to further discuss these matters.

We thank you for your continued patience, and we hope to see you all (a few at a time and properly socially distanced!) at the pool this summer.

Stay well.

The DHARA Board

NVSL Swim Season News – 2020 Season Canceled

Hello DH swim families,

Unfortunately, there will not be a competitive summer swim season this year.  NVSL made the difficult decision that a summer season is not feasible.  We are sad that the summer will not be spent at Monday night and Saturday morning meets cheering all our swimmers to personal bests.

We will still plan to come together as a swim community to recognize our senior swimmers in some way.  We will also explore other ways to keep the DH spirit alive this summer.

Hope to see you all soon,

Meghan, Steve, and Beth

Below is the letter from NVSL:

Dear NVSL Swimmers, Divers, Families, Volunteers and Sponsors,

Planning for the 2020 season began even as the 2019 season came to a close. We eagerly looked forward to commemorating our 65th anniversary as a league of more than 17,000 incredible swimmers and divers. As we know, the spread of the COVID-19 virus resulted in significant changes in our plans and daily lives. Despite our best efforts to gather as much information about the implications of COVID-19 to confidently hold a potential season, we have reached the difficult decision that the 2020 season must be canceled. We feel profound sadness knowing the disappointment this will cause, but the decision was made to prioritize the safety of our participants, supporters, and communities.

Over the last eight weeks, both the Executive Board and the full League Board met more than a dozen times to monitor the ongoing developments related to COVID-19. We gathered input from public health officials, as well as elected and appointed representatives from all levels of government. Most importantly, we sought input from all 102 teams through the 17 Division Coordinators. The common thread in the feedback, along with the disappointment of missing a special summer tradition, was the commitment to health and safety. The Board greatly appreciates the constructive conversations that advanced the discussion on the status of the 2020 season. We took into account as much information as we could to determine whether the League could operate in a safe and healthy way that did not put overwhelming logistical and organizational pressure on the League’s teams. The final vote of the Board in favor of cancellation was 19 in favor, 2 opposed and 3 abstentions.

We expect that teams will have many questions, and we will work quickly to answer where possible. At this moment, we can assure you of the following:

-Senior swimmers and divers will have the opportunity to apply for 2020 NVSL scholarships.

-Team dues will be fully refunded.

We are looking ahead and already planning how to make the 2021 season the best one yet.


The NVSL Executive Board

DHARA COVID-19 Update – May 7, 2020

Dear DHARA Members,

As we continue navigating the COVID-19 crisis as a community, we wanted to update you on where we currently stand. We also ask for your patience and understanding as we make our way through this unprecedented time. This will not be a normal season. We won’t have answers for every question, and there’s much we don’t know at this point. We encourage you to work with us as we plan and adjust over the coming months.

We are closely monitoring news and guidance from the state. The Governor’s Stay at Home order currently runs through June 10. On May 4, Governor Northam released high level guidelines for reopening Virginia, which includes several phases. There are no details on what phase pools may fall into. Therefore, we do not know when the state will permit pools to open. It also appears, for now, that once pools are permitted to open, there will be some level of restriction on the number of people allowed at the pool, as well as other possible guidelines or recommendations.

While we wait for further guidance from the state, we are taking steps to prepare the pool to open as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. Unfortunately, some necessary steps are outside of the board’s control, including obtaining needed permits. Moreover, the board is making its own determinations regarding the safety of our community. As such, it is possible that the pool may not open immediately after the state determines that it is free to do so. Please watch your email and the website for further updates.

Here’s an overview of steps that are being taken:

  • The board has convened a task group, along with the pool manager, to discuss options for our potential opening. This includes plans and policies for member and staff safety and, if we are restricted in the number of individuals permitted to be at the pool at any given time, equitable and manageable plans and policies for both our members’ access and our staff. As we know more, we’ll share those plans.

  • Our pool manager also is communicating with colleagues at other pools, and we’re reaching out to other nearby pool boards.

  • We continue to take practical steps toward an eventual opening. The pool has been drained, cleaned, and refilled. The project to rebuild the pump room is completed, along with the project to stop erosion under the deck. The pool manager has been working on staffing for the pool. And new furniture or refreshed furniture is in place.

  • Grounds clean-up has started, though normally about this time we would have had our grounds clean-up day. We do still NEED your help to get things ready though. Please learn more and sign up to help on specific tasks, with social distancing measures in place.

Finally, stay tuned for further updates over the coming weeks as we have more to share. In the meantime, please stay well and healthy.

Best to all,

The DHARA Board

DHARA – April 4 COVID-19 Update

Dear members,

The DHARA Board continues to closely monitor developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our primary concerns continue to be the health and well-being of our members and employees. Any changes to the information listed below will be based on the guidelines and recommendations set out by Arlington County, the State of Virginia and the CDC. 

It has become clear that we are unable to open on May 9, and we’re unable at this time to provide a firm opening date for the pool. We are, however, continuing to go through our regular opening checklists and planning so that when that time comes, we are able to open as quickly as possible.

We have suspended all community house rentals for the foreseeable future and are in touch with our recurring renters to discuss details.

Consistent with state guidance, DHARA’s winter swim program remains suspended for the time being. 

The spring clean-up day has also been postponed until a date that is to be determined.

The board will continue to actively monitor COVID-19 developments and assess necessary steps as information becomes available. Given the quickly changing situation, the board has added an additional meeting on April 23 so that we can adjust our plans as needed. 

We recognize that these are difficult times, and we will keep you all as updated as possible. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we continue to monitor events. Any questions may be directed to

Please stay well,

  • The DHARA Board

DHARA COVID-19 Update – March 15, 2020

The DHARA Board, in consultation with our manager, is closely monitoring developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our primary concern is the health of our members and employees.

Because the pool is currently closed for the season, COVID-19 is having a limited impact on our facilities. That said, the Board discussed the situation at length during our March Board meeting.

In light of current developments, the Board decided to suspend all rentals of the community house through April 5.  We are in touch with our recurring renters to discuss the details.

In addition, the county has closed Arlington Public Swimming Pools effective Saturday, March 14 until April 13.  As a result, DHARA’s winter swim program is suspended as well. The winter swim coordinator is reaching out with more details.

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and assess necessary changes as information becomes available. We also will revisit any implications for DHARA during our next Board meeting, scheduled for April 2.

We recognize that these are difficult times. We appreciate your understanding as we continue to monitor events.  Any questions may be directed to

Please stay well,

The DHARA Board

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