Is it safe to go to water parks that are reopening for the summer?

is it safe to go to a water park coronavirus
Photo via Michael Au (CC BY 2.0)
  • Some water parks in Texas, Wisconsin, and Arizona are open for business
  • Chlorine inactivates coronavirus particles
  • People should still social distance

Water parks in Texas reopened May 29 with new occupancy limits and rules, leaving people to question if other states would follow suit. So far, water parks in Wisconsin and Arizona have followed suit, though it seems that in many other places in the U.S., these large gathering places have remained shuttered for now. 

New rules in Texas included limiting occupancies to 25%, and some water parks are moving to online ticket sales to avoid contact between employees and customers. At Typhoon Texas in Pflugerville, side attractions like video games or play areas aren’t open, and employees and contractors must be screened before their shifts. 

The CDC advises that chlorine and bromine commonly used in public swimming pools should be enough to “inactivate” the coronavirus in water, which makes swimming in them relatively safe. It’s still the aspect of person-to-person spread which has people concerned, as the virus spreads through respiratory droplets. Social distancing at places like public pools and water parks is still advised

In response to concerns about reopening amid coronavirus, the World Waterpark Association created an “Aquatic Facility & Waterpark Reopening Considerations document” to guide facilities on how and when to reopen. The guide urges facilities and waterparks to consider the level of risk to both staff and guests, who may potentially expose each other to the coronavirus. Lifeguard training in particular should be evaluated, per the guide, with extra precaution taken to minimize the possible transmission of coronavirus. 

The World Waterpark Association advises both the screening of employees and guests to ensure no one with COVID-19 symptoms enters a facility. CDC recommendations include sticking to parks that are nearby and avoiding organized activities or sports, which may occur at public pools or water parks. 

Is it safe:

Sources: CBS Austin, CDC, World Waterpark Association

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