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Good Question: Can COVID-19 spread through pools?

Brennan Somers
Updated: June 10, 2020 04:44 PM
Created: June 10, 2020 04:52 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — On a hot, sweltering day you might think it's a great time to hop in the pool.

Though public pools are still shutdown, the state hopes to release the rules for those in the coming days.

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In the meantime, News10NBC’s Brennan Somers is still hearing some concerns from families asking about if they are at risk of getting COVID-19 while swimming.  

The CDC’s website states:

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. Additionally, proper operation of these aquatic venues and disinfection of the water (with chlorine or bromine) should inactivate the virus.

While there is ongoing community spread of the virus, it is important for individuals, as well as operators of public pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds (for example, at hotels or apartment complexes or owned by communities) to take steps to ensure health and safety:

Everyone should follow state, local, territorial or tribal guidance that might determine when and how public pools, hot tubs or water playgrounds may operate and might include CDC considerations.

Individuals should continue to protect themselves and others at public pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds, both in and out of the water – for example, by staying at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with and wearing cloth face covers when not in the water.

In addition to ensuring water quality and safety, operators of public pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds should follow guidance on cleaning and disinfecting community facilities.

When it comes to questions about public pools, News10NBC spoke with officials in Rochester and the suburbs this week to get a sense on what they are planning. They are hoping for Phase Four at the earliest, best-case scenario, that starts around June 26.

During Gov. Cuomo's daily coronavirus briefing Wednesday, his top aide said they anticipate putting out guidance for re-opening public pools in the coming days.

If you have a question you would like answered, send an e-mail to GoodQuestion@whec.com.


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