Splash Safety: Public Swimming Pools and COVID-19 — What You Need to Know

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As temperatures rise, schools close, and we all grow increasingly weary of staying home, the question arises: Can we go to the pool yet?

Yes, you can. If the waterparks and public pools are opening in your area, there are ways you can safely visit them. Here’s what you need to know about public swimming pools during COVID-19.

Can I Get COVID-19 from the Water in a Public Swimming Pool?

No. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains, “There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds.” This is because proper pool maintenance with chlorine or bromine should kill the virus. (Even saltwater pools are fine if properly maintained: Their filtration systems convert salt into chlorine.)

Note, however, that the CDC stipulated “proper” pool maintenance. If you have doubts about the facility’s maintenance practices, it may be best to stay away.

So Is It Totally Safe to Swim in Public Swimming Pools During COVID-19?

Nope, sorry. Remember, COVID-19’s most common transmission mode is person to person through the air. So if you come into close contact with others while you’re swimming, you could still be at risk. For example, if someone swimming near you coughs, you could inhale their droplets.

The rules of social distancing absolutely still apply in and around public swimming pools. So, despite all that lovely COVID-19-killing chlorine and bromine, if that pool is crowded, you’re putting yourself at risk.

What Precautions Should I Take at the Pool to Reduce My Risk?

The CDC’s pool safety guidance for the public boils down to the following DOs and DON’Ts:

  • DON’T take anyone swimming if they’re sick. Obviously.

  • DO wear cloth face masks at the pool, but not while swimming. According to the CDC, cloth face coverings can be difficult to breathe through when wet.

  • DO keep up that social distancing. This means that, if the pool or waterpark is too crowded to allow proper six-foot-plus dispersal of family groups, you shouldn’t be there.

  • DO clean and disinfect any pool-provided furniture before use. Bring your own disinfectant wipes to fully wipe down tables and lounge chairs.

  • DON’T share goggles or snorkels, even with family members. They contact your face, and they’re hard to clean and disinfect.

  • DON’T share floaties, noodles, or kick boards if possible. If you need to use pool-provided equipment, make sure it’s been cleaned and disinfected.

  • DO bring your own food and drink (if permitted). But DON’T share it beyond your group.

  • DO talk to kids about proper pool hygiene and behavior. That includes not blowing your nose or spitting in the pool, washing hands before swimming, and maintaining social distancing guidelines.

  • DO exercise special caution in public bathrooms and changing areas. Say it with us: hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer! (Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!)

Bonus Insurance Tip

Don’t get TOO relaxed at the pool, leaving your laptop, phone, purse, or wallet unattended. That said, if any of these items were to get stolen, remember that personal items are generally covered under your homeowners insurance policy. Call Covered or your carrier to help you file a claim. When calling, be sure to have any product names, model numbers, and hopefully a receipt.

Here at Covered, we want to help keep you safe every way we can. Why not take two minutes to learn if you can fine-tune your homeowners or auto insurance coverage? Our fast, easy quoting tool helps you make sure you’ve got the right coverage at the best price.

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Cover Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

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