Is it Safe to Invite Your Friends to Swim in Your Pool During COVID-19 Pandemic?

Tarrah Gibbons
July 07, 2020 - 7:57 pm
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    The coronavirus pandemic has caused summer fun to look a little different this year.

    As the impact of COVID-19 moves into the warmer weather, many people are wondering if they should invite friends over to swim in their pool?

    Epidemiologists spoke to "Today" on what people should do to keep their friends and family safe during an afternoon dip.

    Dr. Keri Althoff, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said that people should think ahead before sending out an invitation.

    If you are hosting a pool party, you should consider if you will be seeing an older person or immunocompromised family and friends in the next two weeks.

    Both Althoff and Dr. Sten Vermund, the dean of the Yale School of Public Health, agreed with the CDC that transmission of coronavirus through pool water had not been confirmed.

    In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, water play areas, spa, or hot tubs.

    Disinfecting the water with chlorine or bromine “should inactivate the virus in the water,” the CDC said

    Althoff said one of the lowest risks is contracting the virus through water transmission. However, the next level of risk is a surface transmission. People who are hosting parties should wipe down tables and chairs before and after each use. She also said that people should maintain handwashing practices during a day of swimming.

    Both experts said that maintaining at least six feet apart is essential, especially if people are not wearing face masks. 

    Whether you are chilling by the pool or having a backyard barbecue, Althoff advised everyone to bring their own food and not share drinks or towels.

    In addition, keeping the guest list small is also very important.

    “You may be able to have your neighbor's kids over at the pool, but not the big party that you're used to having and not sacrificing these principles of physical distancing,” Vermund said.

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