COVID-19 can live for over 24 hours on some surfaces. This leads many to ask, what about swimming in a pool – well, the answer’s a mix of good and bad. Here is a quick FAQ on summertime swimming in the COVID-19 pandemic and what to expect.
Can You Catch COVID-19 in a Swimming Pool?
The short answer is that pool water does not spread the virus, however, people do. There’s no evidence suggesting water can carry COVID-19 as it doesn’t reproduce in this environment. Combine this with chemicals in your pool water and you’re more likely to inactivate the coronavirus.
How Does COVID-19 Spread in a Pool Setting?
Social distancing in a pool setting is hard to maintain. COVID-19 is likely to spread around an aquatic environment by the swimmers who come and go. People who aren’t maintaining two metres of distancing combined with a lack of sanitization around the pool (i.e. chairs, locker rooms, showers, etc.) is the biggest risk.
Should I Wear A Mask in A Pool?
Although face masks and face shields are very helpful outside of a pool environment, they shouldn’t be worn underwater. Even a cloth mask worn underwater isn’t going to do much. Lounging by the pool or standing in the shallow end, however, you may want to wear a mask.
How Should I Maintain My Pool At Home?
If you have a pool at home instead of going to a public one, know that your regular pool maintenance schedule should be enough to inactive COVID-19. Follow CDC guidelines and check pH and chlorine levels twice a day if you’re having a lot of people over. There’s nothing special for you to do beyond regular summer pool maintenance.
Is a Public Pool or the Beach Safer for COVID-19?
Swimming in the COVID-19 era is all about paying attention to what’s going on around you to maintain the necessary social distancing. Properly maintained public pools with chlorine and chemicals inactivate COVID-19.
Beaches offer protection in a different way. You have a large volume of water that’s always moving and diluting virus particles, and in such a way that your risk to exposure is vastly reduced. That said, the safest place to swim is where there are the fewest people. If your local region’s recommendation is to not use the beaches, follow them.
Don’t be discouraged from having fun this summer. Visit Living.ca for all your pool essentials, COVID-19 essentials, and more. We want to ensure Canadians are staying safe this summer, whether they’re out at a backyard pool, a community pool, or at the beach. Check in with Living.ca today.
Featured Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash