As coronavirus continues to grow throughout the world, people have a number of questions about the virus. Among them: Can you get coronavirus in a swimming pool? Does it live in water?
According to the University of Central Florida, “It’s not the pool water that might expose you to the virus, but maybe the door handles and other objects that people are having a lot of contact with. Be sure to wash your hands frequently.”
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre in Ireland says: “The World Health Organisation has recommended a concentration of chlorine in drinking water, together with how long it needs to act (‘contact time’) so that dangerous germs are killed. There is also guidance from various organisations on levels of chlorine for swimming pools.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Authorities Have Specified Chlorination Levels for Swimming Pools
The Centre recommends the following:
“For Drinking Water chlorination,‘current recommendations’ is taken to mean a Ct value of at least 15mg.min/litre (for example exposure to 0.5 mg/l free chlorine for at least 30 minutes). For Swimming Pool chlorination, operating to ‘current recommendations / best practice’ means maintenance of a free chlorine residual of at least 1.0mg/l (depending on pool type and disinfectant used).”
The Centre added, “Please note also that the minimum recommended free chlorine residual depends on the type of pool or chlorination chemical used–for example spa pools (‘jacuzzis’) need a higher residual.”
The Irish Times reported that the Health Service Executive there has advised that “Coronavirus cannot be transmitted in drinking water and swimming pools so long as they are properly chlorinated.”
According to Swimming World Magazine, “Health authorities continue to urge caution when it comes to whether water can help transmit coronavirus (COVID-19), although water treatment companies are posting notices on company websites declaring that the virus at the core of a global health emergency ‘can be disinfected through use of ozone, chlorine and other treatment processes used in processing your tap water.'”
Some public swimming pools are closed due to coronavirus.
Gulf News pointed out, “Since the virus spreads through droplet secretions from infected people, gyms, pools, salons and shisha cafés are some of the facilities where residents need to be vigilant about preventive measures.”
The American Water Works Association advises, “Waste generated in the care of PUIs or patients with confirmed COVID-19 does not present additional considerations for wastewater disinfection in the United States. Coronaviruses are susceptible to the same disinfection conditions in community and healthcare settings as other viruses, so current disinfection conditions in wastewater treatment facilities are expected to be sufficient. This includes conditions for practices such as oxidation with hypochlorite (i.e., chlorine bleach) and peracetic acid, as well as inactivation using UV irradiation.”
The CDC has a page devoted to how coronavirus spreads. “The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person,” it reads. “Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.”
CDC adds, “It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”
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