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Are public pools safe during the COVID-19 pandemic?

HOUSTON – Since the weather has been warm and beaches have opened, people have questioned the safety of swimming during the coronavirus pandemic.

Public swimming pools fall under the governor’s plan to reopen businesses starting Friday if they operate at 25% capacity.

Are pools safe?

There’s no evidence the new coronavirus can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas or water play areas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Plus, they said at the pool, proper operation and maintenance, including disinfection with chlorine, should inactivate the virus in the water.

Being around other people while there is a different concern. Experts warn about lockers, railings and chairs you may be sharing and remind you to wash your hands frequently.

Beaches and lakes?

In salty beach water or even the freshwater of local lakes, immunologists say viruses have a shorter survival period. Meaning, they don’t normally survive and thrive in these large bodies of water.

Can heat kill the virus?

As for the UV rays and heat, it's widely anticipated these things can help contain the spread but so far it has not been proven it will kill and control the coronavirus.

Keep your distance from other people

Because of movement in the water and a large amount of dilution, most experts agree, you’re not in danger of getting the virus while swimming. However, don’t confuse swimming with socializing at the pool or beach because you can still get it from being around other people. So, keep your distance.