FAQ COVID-19

The El Cerrito Swim Center has put together a COVID-19 Policies Manual for customers and staff. We also put together some FAQs below. If you have more questions that either the manual or FAQs do not answer, please email recreation@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us.

The Swim Center is opening Monday, July 6, 2020 for reservations only.

Fitness swim Lane Reservations begin Monday 6/29 (for Membership Pass holders)
or Wednesday 7/1 (For non-Pass holders)

Masters Lane Reservations Begins Wednesday 7/1

Gators Registration begins Wednesday 7/1

What are the fees to swim?
It depends on the program, but you can find all of our fees listed below:
Fitness Swim Membership Pass: $45 Res / $56 NRes
Fitness Swim Lane Reservation with Membership Pass: $8 Res / $10 NRes
Fitness Swim Lane Reservation: $10 Res / $12 NRes
Masters Lane Reservation: $15 Res / $19 NRes
Gators 2-week Session (M/W or T/Th): $56 Res / $70 NRes

I want to come swim. How do I do that?
The Swim Center is only open right now for Lap Swim, Water Walking, Independent Exercise (all considered Fitness Swim), and Masters Swim Team. To swim, you will have to reserve a lane by logging into WebTrac, our online reservation system. You can learn about how to reserve a lane here. Online reservations can be made here.

Gators Swim Club is also practicing, and you can register for Gators here at www.el-cerrito.org/onlinereg and clicking on "Aquatics Programs." You must already be a Gators swimmer to join, as there will be no try-out currently.

When can I reserve lanes?
The pool opens on Monday 7/6, and reservations begin on 6/29 for pass-holders and 7/1 for non-pass holders.

For Fitness Swim, you may purchase a Membership Pass beginning 6/29, and reserve lanes on 6/29 with the pass. If you purchase a pass on 6/29, you may begin using it right away, and it will not expire until 8/5 (30-days after 7/6/2020). If you wish to continue to make lane reservations as a member/pass-holder after 8/5, you will need to renew your pass.

Pass-holders can reserve lanes 14-days in advance. For example, beginning on Monday 6/29, pass-holders can reserve lanes from Monday 7/6 through Monday 7/13. On Tuesday 6/30, pass-holders can reserve through Tuesday 7/14, etc. Every day, beginning 6/29, pass-holders can reserve a lane 14-days out.

Non-pass holders and Masters can reserve lanes 11-days in advance. For example, beginning on Wednesday 7/1, non-pass holders can reserve lanes from Monday 7/6 through Sunday 7/12. On Friday 7/3, non-pass holders can reserve lanes through Monday 7/13, etc. Every day, beginning 7/2, non-pass holders can reserve a lane 11-days out.

Gators registration begins Wednesday 7/1.

I don’t know my schedule far enough in advance to reserve a lane. Can I drop-in for lap swim instead?
You can reserve a lane as late as 24 hours ahead of time, but we cannot allow drop-ins at this time. The Swim Center is doing its best to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, therefore we will not be doing any in person transactions right now. Also, because of the tough financial times the City is facing, the Swim Center will not be able to operate if we do not get a minimum number of swimmers per lane (at least 7 swimmers per time slot). By reserving lanes ahead of time instead of doing drop-ins, we will know in advance if we need to cancel a time slot.

I don’t understand what a “membership” is for Fitness Swim.
A membership gives a couple benefits to those who purchase the membership pass. Those with a membership pass will be allowed to reserve lanes before the general public, up to a few days in advance. It also gives at least a 20% discount on lane reservations. You do not have to purchase a membership pass in order to lap swim. The membership pass is not a punch pass, you will still need to reserve lanes and pay the separate, discounted lane reservation fee.

The membership pass is good for 30-days, allowing you to reserve early and get discounts the entire 30-days. You will have to renew the membership pass every 30-days in order to continue using the discount and reserve early.

It’s not letting me reserve lanes. What do I do?
There may be several reasons for this. First, lanes have been booking very quickly and there are not a lot of spots available. Second, you may be looking too far out in advance. The system shows a red "unavailable" whether the lane is booked or if it’s too far in advance to book the lane. 

Lastly, you may not have your birthdate in the system. You must be 14 years or older to reserve a lane and if your birthdate is not in the system, it thinks you are 0 years old. Unfortunately, this is not something you can change in the system yourself. If you do not have a birthdate in the system, please email recreation@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us with your birthdate and we will enter it in the system.

I want to swim for at least an hour or more, but only see 45-minute time slots. How can I swim longer?
Because of the County Order, outdoor pools are only allowed one person per lane in the pool. To maximize the amount of people who can swim plus the time needed to disinfect after each usage, the Swim Center is utilizing 45-minute time slots per swimmer.

Can I reserve two time slots back-to-back in order to swim longer?
You can, however after each time slot you will be asked to leave the facility. After each time slot, staff must clean and disinfect all highly touched surfaces. The staff that are doing the cleaning and disinfecting are the Lifeguards, and therefore cannot have anyone in the pool or facility while cleaning because they will not be able to Lifeguard at that time.

How many days per week or times per day can I sign up to swim?
The Swim Center is not regulating how many time slots per day or week you can reserve. However, if people are reserving spots and not using them or reserving so many spots that other customers are being turned away, this could change.

Why can’t I reserve a lane more than 14- or 11-days in advance?
There is currently a lot of uncertainty with the County and when the health orders will change again. The Swim Center wants to be able to accommodate these changes as quickly as possible with as little disruption to our customers as possible. On top of that, in the survey that was conducted around June 12, 2020, many people commented that their schedule is too unpredictable to reserve too far in advance. We are hopeful that this option will be the most equitable for customers.

I see lanes available for next month but can’t reserve them. Why not?
Our online reservation system shows the availability of lanes very far into the future, even if they are not able to be reserved. Swimmers can only reserve lanes if they are a pass holder 14-days in advance, or non-pass holders can reserve 11-days in advance, even if you can see more lanes than that available.

My family and I want to swim. Can we reserve a lane?
The Swim Center is not currently offering Family Swim such as rECswim or Splash Park, but we are looking into these options and hope to offer them soon. Right now, only Fitness Swim (lap swim, water walking or independent exercise), Masters and Gators are offered. If you and a family member would like to lap swim in the same lane, then yes, you may reserve a lane. Please keep in mind that everyone will have to stay in the middle of the lane as much as possible in order to maintain physical distancing.

I want to reserve a certain lane (for example, I water walk and need the shallow lane). How do I do that?
The online reservation system in WebTrac allows you to reserve the lane you want. The lanes are numbered 1-10, with 1 being the shallow lane and 10 being the deep lane. Each lane has a description in WebTrac. Please see the picture below for the numbered lanes.Lane Numbers Opens in new window

  • Please be aware under Fitness Swim Reservations the lanes will appear in the wrong order. Lane 10 will be first, then Lane 1 Ladder, Lane 1 Stairs, Lane 2, etc.
  • Lane 1 is not available for Masters swimming, therefore Masters Swim Reservations will be in the correct order, Lane 2, Lane 3, etc.
  • Lane 1 Stairs is the shallow lane with the stairs, which starts at a depth of 3’ and goes to 4’6”. This lane is less than half the length of a normal 25-yard lane, with a 6-foot section in the middle of the lane to keep physical distance from the other half of the lane. This lane is good for independent exercise and water walking.
  • Lane 1 Ladder is the shallow lane with the ladder, which is depth of 4’6”. This lane is less than half the length of a normal 25-yard lane, with a 6-foot section in the middle of the lane to keep physical distance from the other half of the lane. This lane is good for independent exercise and water walking.
  • Lane 2 is a shallower lane, with a depth of 4’6” the length of the lane and going deeper as it gets closer to Lane 3. This lane is good for water walking, lap swimming and independent exercise.
  • Lane 3, 4 & 5 are deep lanes with a depth of 7’. These lanes are good for lap swimming and deep-water independent exercise.
  • Lane 6, 7, 8 & 9 are deep lanes that start with a depth of 7’ at one side of the pool and end with 13’ at the other side. These lanes are good for lap swimming and deep-water independent exercise.
  • Lane 10 is a deep lane that start with a depth of 7’ at one side of the pool and end with 13’ at the other side. There are ladders on either end of the lane. This lane is good for lap swimming and deep-water independent exercise.

Why can we not split the lanes and swim two per lane to get more people swimming?
The County Order allows for one person for every 75 square feet. While we can get more people in the pool than one per lane, they still must physically distance. Therefore, we can only allow one swimmer per lane.

The time slot I reserved was just cancelled due to low reservations. What happens now?
We are very sorry this happened, it means that not enough swimmers reserved a lane during that time slot. You can do a few things:

  • Reserve a lane in another time slot. You can reserve another day, or staff can help you reserve a lane for that same day, even if the 24 hours advanced reservation period has ended.
  • Receive a credit for your lane reservation to use later for any Recreation program.
  • Receive a refund for your lane reservation.

I reserved a lane, but now cannot make that time. Can I get a refund?
Unfortunately, the Swim Center does not allow any transfers or refunds after you have reserved a lane. Please be very careful in your lane and time selection.

I had a Pass (10-punch, 30-day or 90-day) from before the Swim Center was shut down due to COVID-19. Can I use that?
Part of helping to recover costs with less customers swimming at the same time is putting passes on hold until normal operations resume. We will make sure all passes are able to be used and their expiration extended once we are able to resume normal operations.

I would like to donate to help keep the Swim Center open. How can I do that?
All the staff at the Swim Center greatly appreciate your donation. We are working on a way to donate, and will have that information available soon. Thank you!