People cannot get COVID-19 from going swimming in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even though it appears that the coronavirus CAN live in water, it probably wouldn’t be present in a high enough concentration to infect a person. At this point, it’s safe to swim, because you won’t catch COVID-19 in a pool.
“There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas,” the CDC said. “Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.”
The CDC adds that because there is ongoing community spread of coronavirus, people who operate or visit public pools and other water play areas should still follow local and state guidelines that determine when and how recreational water facilities may open.
There’s also been a question of whether it’s safe to go to water parks this summer. The World Waterpark Association recommends employees and guests are screened for coronavirus symptoms before they enter the park, and the CDC said people should stick to parks that are near their house.
Although you can’t get COVID-19 from swimming in a pool, you can still catch it from touching other surfaces around the pool. Visitors should continue to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene.
“The bigger issue is that you have to change in the shared locker rooms, and people are often touching the mouth, nose, and face and then maybe touching the lockers,” infectious disease physician Dr. Michael Ison said in an interview with Today. “If you do, wash your hands carefully before and after swimming in the pool.”
Pool owners and operators should also follow the interim guidance for businesses and employers for cleaning and disinfecting their facilities.