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New procedures and practices
As businesses begin to open and lockdowns start to ease up throughout the U.S., tennis facilities and clubs have a responsibility to their members and their community to practice safe hygiene to prevent a resurgence in the spread of virus.
For your facility, you’ll want to have only one point of entry, to better control the number of people using your facility at one time. You also might want to take a hint from medical facilities and post a “greeter” at the entrance, wearing protective attire (mask and gloves). The greeter can be a front desk attendant, and they should be able to clearly explain what rules players must follow and what hygiene practices are expected. They can ask members and players if they have a cough or fever, or if they’ve recently encountered a sick person. They can even take temperatures using a no-contact thermometer.
You’ll most likely have to add hand sanitizer dispensers to entrance areas and other key locations—add these as soon as possible. Try to get automated dispensers so members don’t have to touch anything to receive sanitizer.
Post rules for social distancing in the club and on your website and social media channels. Make sure members avoid bodily contact with each other. Close any part of the facility that’s likely to result in close contact. (Many facilities allow players only to use the courts, not any social areas or lounge areas, and to not linger at the facility before and after playing.) Make sure any member allowed inside understands what’s expected of them, and don’t hesitate to enforce the rules if you see anyone acting improperly.
All surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned after every use. Be prepared to spend more on cleaning supplies, and plan on spending more time cleaning.
Proactive social distancing and hygiene efforts will pay off over the long run, as your members and players will appreciate the attention to health and cleanliness. Keep in mind, many of the procedures we’re implementing today because of the coronavirus will be with us for a long time to come.
Tim Bainton is the Managing Partner of Blue Chip Sports Management.
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