Must-Know Hygiene Tips for Divers to Avoid COVID-19
The world is now in the midst of a pandemic that has already affected more than 3.75 million people. Lockdowns have been in place for months now and every industry is already affected by this huge problem including the diving industry.
To make sure that divers are protected from the deadly virus, the International Marine Contractors Association has released some guidelines for diving contractors during the pandemic:
- All diving personnel should be screened 14 days before mobilization to determine if they are at a high risk for contracting the virus. They should also be aware of the risks involved in travelling to countries with known cases of COVID-19 and how to protect themselves from it.
- Diving operators must respect local regulations regarding COVID-19 including mandated quarantine periods and even total travel bans.
- A questionnaire should be given to personnel 14 days prior to deployment to screen for risks and the possibility of contracting the virus. Upon arrival at the embarkation point, contractors should also conduct pre-embarkation checks and offer key information about COVID-19 to divers.
- All contractors need to have access to qualified medical professionals who can assess the questionnaire and follow proper protocols in the event of a positive case.
- Proper handwashing should be practiced at all times and strict hygiene requirements need to be implemented to make sure that the life crew, diving personnel and divers are protected at all times.
- If possible, each diver should have his own oral-nasal mask. But if that option isn’t practical, proper sanitation should be done to all diving equipment after every dive. Contractors should review the products used for cleaning diving helmets to make sure that their components are effective against the coronavirus.
- All materials used in cleaning helmet interiors and oral-nasal masks should be disposed properly in a plastic bag.
In addition to these guidelines, it’s also very important for diving contractors to implement strict measures, especially during dive excursions.
Cleaning and disinfecting of diving gear is very important after each pool session to prevent the spread of the disease.
In case a member of the diving team contracts the virus, proper rules should be followed including medical personnel wearing proper personal protective equipment.