PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — One of the best ways to make a splash every summer is by heading to your nearest swimming pool.
But with health concerns surrounding COVID-19, some community pools are foregoing opening at all, leaving people wondering if it is safe to take the plunge.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through the water used in pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds.
Proper operation and disinfection of these areas should kill the virus that causes COVID-19.
“Now your private pool is going to be safer than your public one because you’re also worried about who is going to be around you, so social distancing rules still apply,” said Pediatrician at OSF Healthcare, Dr. Robin Punsalan. “You should stay in your family unit and stay six feet away from other people. if you can’t maintain the six feet distance and you’re not in the pool you should be wearing a mask.”
Dr. Punsalan adds just because you feel safe in the water, you can still come in contact with COVID-19 around the pool, especially from person-to-person contact or by touching a contaminated surface.
Dr. Punsalan recommends bringing personal items you’ll need for the day such as separate drink bottles, pool toys, and goggles for each family member.
“Bring the usual items like your towel, your sunscreen, but I would also make sure to bring your hand sanitizer, so if you are touching things that are shared among other people you can sanitize both you and your family,” said Dr. Punsalan “And you should bring your own food, snacks, and drinks. Water fountains, if it’s a public pool, won’t be accessible.”
Lakes and oceans are also safe from a transmission standpoint due to the vast size of the bodies of water.