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Is it safe to go to the pool, lake or beach under coronavirus? What we know


Check state restrictions before going to the lake or beach.

Kent German / CNET

Visit the WHO website for the latest updates and information on the coronavirus pandemic.

Is it safe to invite people to a pool party or go to the beach or lake? With locking rules and recommendations that vary in the US while coronavirus cases continue to nail, there is reason to ask how busy beaches and public swimming pools can contribute raise this wave of pandemics.

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization say that the main way for the virus to spread is from an infected person to another person through respiratory drops, which usually happens when they are within six meters of each other. Other experts believe that the virus is airborne and can be spread in small particles through the air from person to person, especially indoors with little ventilation.

So what does this mean for you – can the virus survive in natural and human water bodies and infect others? Is it safe to be out with others you do not live with? Here’s what we know about the coronavirus and the water you swim in. This article provides an overview and is not intended as medical advice. It is often updated with new information from the CDC, state and county guidelines and experts in the medical community.

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Is it safe to swim in a public pool?

While many public pools have decided to keep their doors closed for the time being, others have already opened. The CDC says there is no evidence that coronavirus can spread to humans through pool water and that proper cleaning with chlorine or bromine should inactivate the virus if it is in the water.

So why do pools remain closed if there is no evidence that the virus is spreading through the water? Because of human behavior. While the coronavirus may not spread easily by pool water, say that if someone spits out a large mouthful, which they accidentally almost swallow, it can still infect people up close when their heads are out of the water.

For example, a group of people talking in the shallow end or playing a pool game may be more likely to acquire the virus from their partners’ breath or saliva (eg by shouting to be heard by a noisy pool) than from the water itself.

In addition, pools, especially public ones, contain areas and areas with high traffic that are often affected, such as the railing on the stairs to get out of the pool or doors to enter the premises. The principle of social distancing is to keep people far enough away so that someone who may not know they are infected does not send the virus to another person or group of people. Bathrooms, lunch lines, shady indoor areas and all places where people come nearby can increase your risk.


Keep your distance from others when swimming in a public pool.

James Martin / CNET

How about the lake or the beach?

Before you even consider going to the lake or beach, you need to see if there are any new local or state restrictions in your area. In some places, lakes and beaches remain closed to the public to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. For example, many beaches in California are closed, while others are only open for active recreation according to physical distance guidelines – which can be enforced by lifeguards or a beach patrol vehicle. This means that socializing to relax, grill or picnic is not allowed, especially not at large gatherings.

If the water near you is open and you plan to go, it is best to limit your group to the members of your household. If it is allowed to gather in your country, it is important that you limit the number of people you spend time with so that you can properly social distance. This will help hold risk of seeing friends outdoors was low.

CNET spoke with Andrew Janowski, a physician for infectious diseases at Washington University. He said that the water is safe as long as you are social distances from those you are not usually in close contact with. He also said that if someone who is sick with the coronavirus is in the water, it is likely that they will not transmit it to others. He added: “The water will dilute these secretions, making it much more difficult for a sufficient number of virus particles to come in contact with you.”

What happens if an infected person is in the pool or lake?

Although you may not know if another person swimming in the water is infected, it does not hurt to play it safe and keep your distance from others. Even if someone does not show symptoms, Asymptomatic people can still transmit coronavirus.


Experts say that the volume of water in lakes and seas will dilute the virus.

Screenshot of Amanda Kooser / CNET

Can I go on a boat on the lake with friends because we are out?

The understanding among experts is that coronavirus can spread more easily in enclosed indoor areas where people are more likely to share the same air. And new studies suggest coronavirus is airborne and can be spread through the air.

Before agreeing to boat plans with friends, first ask yourself these questions: Do they live with me? Are home orders kept in my state? Are collections allowed where I live?

If you answered no to any of these questions, it is safest to take a rain check on the invitation or keep the boat trip limited to the people in your household, if you are the one making the invitation.

If you answered yes to these questions, ask yourself further: Do I spend time with the elderly or someone with compromised immune system? Remembering to stay healthy also helps you keep those around you healthy.

If you go out on the water, use your best judgment and make sure you have enough equipment to make it easy for people to stay clean and away. Some general tips: Do not charge your boat to the max with friends sitting shoulder to shoulder. Discourage reusable cups and sharing drinks (“Here, taste mine!”). Keep disinfectant wipes, soap and detergent on hand. As an extra precaution, you can do so disinfect the surfaces when passengers get off.

Do I need to wear a mask?

The CDC recommends you wear a face mask or cover when social distancing is difficult. In this case, it may mean that you are wearing a face mask when you walk past a group of people to find an open place to sit or while waiting in line at the toilet.

Some places, like Cocoa Beach Pier in Florida, requires wearing masks. The CDC recommends that you do not wear a mask when you are in the water as it makes it difficult to breathe when the mask is wet.

Here you can do buy a face mask online, buy face masks for children and even fancy face masks it costs $ 100 or more.

Are the bathrooms safe to use?

It is hard to say. Ask the facility or park how often the toilet is cleaned. If it does not look like it has been cleaned for a while, you may feel more comfortable staying away. Wearing a face mask in public toilets is a smart precaution.

Also make sure that there is soap and running water, or that you have hand sanitizer ready. Use paper towels to dry your hands, if available, rather than a hand dryer that can blow particles into the air.

If there is a long line waiting to enter, stand at least six meters back from the person in front of you. Please note that many public toilets remain closed during this time.

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What you can do to help you be safe

To help you protect yourself and others, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:

  • Bring your own deck chair and towel.
  • Do not let your children share pool toys with others.
  • Do not share your drinks with friends.
  • Wash your hands often, if possible.
  • Bring hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes if you need to touch split surfaces.
  • Keep a six foot distance from people who are not in your household – if you have to, you can even put two pool noodles lengthwise between each person.

Although restrictions have been lifted in many parts of the country, it is important that you know how to help protect yourself. Here is 16 tips to help you avoid coronavirus when going out in public, what we know about how long the coronavirus will last and if there will be a second wave and what to do if you think you or someone you live with is infected with coronavirus.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical condition or health goal.

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