Answer Bank: Can the COVID-19 virus spread through pools, hot tubs or spas, and water playgrounds?
By She Jingwei

In the southern U.S. state of Florida., the weather is already warm enough for swimming pool activities. With the governor's green light, north Florida beaches were among the first in the U.S. to allow people to return since being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the good news is that there is no evidence the COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools, hot tubs or spas, or water playgrounds; the proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools, hot tubs or spas, and water playgrounds should inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

It is of great importance that both adults and kids at private or public pool gatherings should practice social distancing, particularly staying away from people who are coughing and sneezing.

For pool operators, the CDC reminds they should make sure kids are well-supervised when in the water; and that chemicals such as chlorine are added to pool water to kill germs at regular time.

As the summer is coming, the following tips for healthy swimming are recommended for the public:

1. Check out the latest inspection score assigned to a public pool or hot tub/spa.  
2. Shower before you get in the water. Rinsing off in the shower for just one minute helps get rid of most dirt or anything else on your body. 
3. Keep pee, poop, blood and dirt out of the water. 
4. Don't swim or let children swim when sick with diarrhea. 
5. Don't swallow the water. Just one mouthful of water with diarrhea germs can make you sick for up to 3 weeks.

However, it should be noted that those given stay-at-home orders should remain at home all the time. Leaving their homes will be guilty of breaking the law.

(Cover image designed by Yin Yating)