Can COVID-19 be spread through water?

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A girl plays in a swimming pool at a waterpark in Kuwait City on May 21, 2010. AFP PHOTO/YASSER AL-ZAYYAT (Photo credit should read YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images)

(ABC4) – With temperatures in the triple digits and more public places opening up, it’s natural for parents to ask if public pools and water parks are safe from COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some good news:

“CDC is not aware of any scientific reports of the virus that causes COVID-19 spreading to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, water playgrounds, or other treated aquatic venues.”

However, it’s still important for both visitors and staff at pools and water parks to take precautions to keep people safe. Though the CDC doesn’t believe COVID-19 can spread through water, the virus can spread on other surfaces.

In a video on their website, the CDC recommends visitors take the following precautions:

  • Wear a cloth face covering when out of the water
  • Avoid sharing items like goggles, snorkels, and towels which can be difficult to clean between uses
  • Social distance from others not in your group while in and out of the water

Aquatic venues can be those owned by:

  • apartment complexes
  • homeowners’ associations
  • Hotels and motels
  • Membership clubs such as gyms
  • schools
  • water parks
  • city or county governments

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The CDC says staff at any of these venues should take the following precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19:

  • Urge people to stay home if they are sick
  • Promote safe practices such as wearing of facemasks when out of the water, hand washing, etc.
  • Keep supplies such as soap, hand sanitizer, and paper towels stocked
  • Disinfect pool equipment such as pool noodles, slides, handrails, lounge chairs, and door handles between uses
  • Remind people to avoid sharing personal items
  • Increase air flow by opening doors and windows for inside locations
  • Consider limiting number of visitors to allow for social distancing
  • Change deck layouts to ensure people can social distance
  • Limit large group events
  • Create a plan in case a staff member or visitor gets sick
  • Use signs, posters, and make announcements to remind people of healthy behaviors

For more information on COVID-19 safety at water venues, visit cdc.gov.

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