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As stay-at-home orders have lifted in some areas, businesses are slowly reopening across the nation. Public swimming pools are one of them. The lifting of restrictions doesn’t offer a free pass to presume your regular activities like before the pandemic. The risk of exposure to coronavirus is still out there so the question is: Will it be safe to go swimming when the risk of spreading coronavirus is still high?
However, if you want to go out swimming, here are some tips to reduce your exposure to the virus:
The best way to stay safe
The safest move to prevent yourself from coronavirus is to stay home. However, if you want to go out for swimming, here are some tips to reduce your exposure to the virus:
#1. Stay 6 feet apart
According to the CDC, there is no evidence that coronavirus can spread to people through water, especially when the pool water contains chlorine and bromine to kill bacteria and viruses. The biggest safety concern is how to maintain 6 feet distance from others, both in and out of the pool. Avoiding others in the water can be the trick. Indeed, as people get in the pool and pop up for air, they’re going to be right next to each other and that’s a potential issue. Pool administrators can reduce the risk with the help of the following solutions:
- Pool operators can set limits on the number of people allowed on the premises. They can also rotate swim times keeping people in for 10 minutes at a time.
- Family members should stick together instead of being scattered, all across the pool, talking to and playing with others. The family group should swim with one another and take breaks with one another.
#2. Wear a face-mask
Face masks are another way to reduce the spread of coronavirus; however, wearing them in the water is not recommended as it’s not safe. To be safer, people should wear a mask when they come out of the water at the community pool.
#3. Wash your hands
Most of the time, your hands will stay submerged in chlorinated pool water but It doesn’t mean you don’t need to wash your hands properly. To mitigate the risk of COVID-19, it’s crucial to maintain proper hand hygiene. You can follow these tips to keep your hands sanitized at the community pool:
- Wash your hands often if possible, and use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water are not available.
- Use disinfectant wipes to clean your chair or table.
- Avoid touching doorknobs, the snack-bar counter, even the handles heading down into the pool and if you do, wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer.
#4. Bring your stuff
No matter what we have taught our kids about “sharing is caring,” it’s good to bring your stuff from home during this challenging time. It includes anything from towels, sunscreen, goggles, snorkel masks to coolers. Avoid sharing your belongings with other fellow swimmers to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
#5. Inquire about pool rules
If the pool is open in your area don’t be afraid to ask questions to determine whether it’s safe to go. You can ask the pool operators about:
- Crowd-control plans
- How many people will be allowed into the pool at a time?
- Who will be in charge of overseeing and enforcing the new rules?
- Will hand sanitizer be available in areas throughout the facility?
- Who will be responsible for the cleaning and disinfection of the pool?
- Will there will be a modified layout to ensure people remain 6 feet apart?
#6. Stay extra cautious for older family members
Older people and those with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19 than younger, healthier adults. If coronavirus cases are spiking in your area, you need to ensure that older people stay home as much as possible. If they still want to go, choose the slot when the pool is least crowded. Ensure they follow the CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as:
- Wash hands often.
- Wear a face mask.
- Maintain social distance as much as possible.
According to the CDC, there is no medicine and a single way to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. It takes a collaborative community effort — a multipronged approach, including social distancing and isolation and hygiene and wearing a mask. If you’re going out, make sure to follow the CDC recommended guidelines to reduce the risk of the COVID-19.
For more updates on the swimming pool guidelines during the COVID-19, stay tuned to Life Savers Pool Fence!