The spread of fear and anxiety in the past few months has been almost as viral as the spread of COVID-19 itself. Everyone has seen the news, and now we’re quarantined or socially-isolated in effort to slow its spread. Experts are working around the clock on potential treatments and vaccines, but meanwhile, we’re all still stuck at home with little chance of escape. And if you’re like us, you’re going crazy! Fortunately, if you have a home pool, you have your own little getaway in your backyard. There’s just one question left:
Can You Get Coronavirus from a Swimming Pool?
Public pools can often be associated with illness, so what about a private swimming pool? Does using your home pool actually put you at risk of contracting the coronavirus? Well, public pools are known as potentially unsanitary because of the large crowds of people they attract and the potential for sick people to visit them. However, private pools host a much smaller number of users, and you have more control over its sanitation.
We don’t have many details on the transmission of COVID-19 through water, but we do have some theories based on the science behind it. First of all, coronavirus is a respiratory illness, so it travels through droplets of mucus and saliva when someone coughs or sneezes. It can get into the water, but from everything we know, the standard dose of chlorine in a pool should be enough to kill the virus. This is great news, because if you are diligent and keep the proper pool chemicals in your water, you should be safe from the virus and able to swim at your leisure in your pool.
How to Take Care of Your Swimming Pool in the COVID-19 Era
Even though we’re in the middle of an outbreak, maintaining your pool should still be a priority, especially if you’re using it. As long as you take appropriate precautions, there should be no issues with using your pool. In fact, it can be a great escape from the indoors and release some of that pent up energy from being stuck inside all day. If you’re struggling to keep the house clean, sending the kids out into the pool gives you a great opportunity to tidy up (as well as take a bit of a break for yourself!). However, you do need to take certain precautions.
There are two main things you can do to prevent the spread of coronavirus in your pool. First and foremost is directly related to your pool chemicals. Since these chemicals will effectively kill the virus in the water, make sure you have the pool stocked with chemicals and have the levels regularly tested. The second thing to do is refill the pool if needed. Also, filtering the water can be very helpful in reducing the spread of coronavirus. As the saying goes, “the solution to pollution is dilution,” meaning the more water you have, the less risk there is of infection or dangerous substances.
Other Tips for Pool Owners to Avoid COVID-19
If you’re trying to avoid getting sick, the best thing is to follow the CDC’s guidelines about keeping surfaces clean. It’s also a good idea to keep your pool stocked with the right balance of chemicals so that any traces of the virus are killed quickly. You can’t rely on sunlight to kill it for you — it takes much higher levels of concentrated UV radiation than what is present in sunlight to affect the new coronavirus. So it’s especially important to make sure that all surfaces, particularly glass and metal, get regularly wiped down and disinfected.
The other big thing to do is maintain social distancing. Do not host large gatherings at your house for a pool party, even though it may be tempting. Restrict it to immediate family use only. Just because you all are outdoors does not mean that the risk is lessened. Gathering in large groups can create a major risk for contagion, even if the virus can’t live in the water. It can still be transmitted outside the pool. So make sure to maintain proper social distancing techniques and keep away from other people outside of your family or immediate company.
If you take the right precautions, a pool can be a great resource in this challenging time. The water is cool, the weather is great, and you get a chance to escape the confines of your house. While you’re trying to social distance properly, the pool can be a special lifesaver for your sanity if you have kids! Keep the pool chemicals up to the right levels and clean all your surfaces, and you’ll have your own summer wonderland to swim and frolic in as often as you like, no matter what happens.