Arlington, VA

(Updated at 10:20 p.m.) The Overlee Community Association pool closed after a reported COVID-19 case and possible outbreak this week.

The private swim club was shuttered last night, with a sign on the door saying: “Closed, see email from Board coming soon.” Multiple sources tell ARLnow the closure is due to COVID-19. Members are reportedly being told that the pool was closed as a precaution after one person who recently visited the pool tested positive.

Two people independently described the situation to ARLnow as people getting COVID-like symptoms following a swim meet over the weekend.

“Overlee pool has a big outbreak on their swim team with coaches, kids and parents with symptoms and positive tests,” said one tipster, whose children work at another private swim club in Arlington. “We’re worried COVID cases are being concealed, endangering pool staff and guests.”

“Seems like Overlee pool has had a significant COVID outbreak after holding an intrasquad swim meet on Saturday,” said another tipster. “Lots of cases in the community. Expecting a message this afternoon.”

Thus far, neither the association nor the county has provided additional information about the situation to ARLnow.

An email to the Overlee Community Association’s board president last night has not been returned. A spokeswoman for Arlington’s public health department declined comment.

Arlington’s seven-day rate of new coronavirus cases rose to 124 today, the highest point since June 13. Two of the county’s indoor public pools, in Washington-Liberty and Yorktown high schools, reopened on Saturday.

Coronavirus is believed to spread primarily through respiratory droplets in the air, not in the water.

A number of readers have criticized ARLnow following the publication of this article, which has since been updated with new information provided to us.

“I implore you to remove the Overlee swim club article. It is not accurate,” wrote one. “There is no outbreak. The county worked with the pool to notify individuals that may have been at risk after one member reported a positive test.”

“Most of the facts and anonymous tips were completely untrue and unbelievable as member of Overlee and a member of the swim team I am hear to tell you that all these anonymous tips are actually just straight false information from other rival swim teams,” wrote another person, in an anonymous tip. “The meet held on Saturday was very small and everyone was social distancing and was required to wear masks.”

Overlee members were subsequently sent an email Thursday night, referencing “a local website’s erroneous article,” but also revealing that three Overlee members have tested positive.

A person with knowledge of the outbreak, who spoke to ARLnow on the condition of anonymity, said that even that number is understated — multiple members of multiple families have tested positive, we’re told. The positive cases appear to be linked to an intrasquad swim meet on Saturday, the person said.

The Overlee email is below.

Overlee Membership –

Due to concerns regarding a local website’s erroneous article about Overlee, we are providing the information below as clarification and to be as transparent as possible to our Overlee Community members.

As stated in Tuesday’s email to members and due to HIPAA restrictions, Overlee is not allowed to divulge any information, including date and time of possible exposure, to entities other than health departments and healthcare officials. Overlee is working with the Arlington County Health Department and providing them with information as requested, which includes the day and times the individual(s) were at the pool. The ArlCo Health Department will contact any members they determine to be a “close contact” during the investigation. Please cooperate with their investigation, if contacted.

Upon notification on Tuesday by the first member testing positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, we closed the pool immediately. Subsequently, we’ve been notified by 2 other members about their positive results (neither of whom were at the pool after it was disinfected).

The entire facility was disinfected and deep-cleaned several times and reopened Thursday. The ArlCo Health Department has been entirely supportive of the Overlee pool remaining open and of the protocols Overlee has taken and continues to take for the health and safety of staff and members, to include the masks/face coverings and physical distancing policies.

Management and swim team coaches have been tested and their results are all negative. The staff has been following Overlee’s strict safety procedures at all times.

If you and your family members were following the protocols while at Overlee – more than 6 feet of spacing from others, conversations less than 15 minutes, and mask/face covering on at all times – your exposure level is considered “very low” and you are not considered a close contact, according to the ArlCo Health Department.

We thank these members for being forthcoming with their results regarding the health and safety of our staff and members. We send them our best wishes and hope each of them has a quick and full recovery.

Editor’s note: ARLnow previously reported on COVID-19 outbreaks at local long-term care facilities, with the help of anonymous sources. We made the decision to do that reporting, despite repeated refusals to release information by county and state authorities, in the interest of providing a fuller picture of the spread of the virus in the community. Reports of large outbreaks at such facilities turned out to be accurate. As an organization, we will continue to provide information on COVID cases we believe to be well-founded, even in the absence of official confirmation, which has unfortunately proved nearly impossible to receive in most cases. 

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