Is it safe to go into the water? With summer approaching, and the coronavirus still rampant, many people are wondering if it’s advisable to swim in pools.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there is no evidence that the new coronavirus can be spread to people by water in swimming pools, hot tubs, spas and other water playgrounds. The caveat is that these aquatic areas must be maintained properly with disinfectants such as chlorine and bromine, says the CDC, to “inactivate the virus.”
But one expert warns it’s not the water that’s the problem, according to NBC Chicago.
“The bigger issue is that you have to change in shared locker rooms, and people are often touching their mouths, nose and face and then touching the lockers,” said Dr. Michael Ison, an infectious disease physician at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, who advised washing hands thoroughly before and after swimming in the pool. He added that you should also wash your hands getting into and out of the pool because, in all likelihood, you’ve touched a ladder or some other surface.
“Social distancing will be with us throughout the summer to really ensure that we protect one another as we move through these phases,” Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, said Sunday on Meet the Press.
And that means pool operators will need to establish new protocols. NBC News medical correspondent Dr. John Torres predicted a “new normal” for pools, according to NBC Chicago, and offers questions that you should ask before jumping in:
- What are you doing to clean and disinfect the pool and its amenities?
- How will social distancing be enforced?
- What will you do if someone tests positive?
- How do I know my child will be safe?
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