With the gorgeous summer weather and some beaches closed, more people are heading to swimming pools. But are pools of one the places where coronavirus is likely to spread?
Decades ago, before chlorine was a universal part of water maintenance, swimming pools used to be places where people caught infectious diseases easily.
"Used to be every summer kids got polio. And it was because they were using swimming pool and the swimming pools were not chlorinated," said Pasadena Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. John de Beixedon.
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Now, it's very rare to catch a viral illness from pool water.
"The water is pretty sterile," he said. "And that's why people can swim and not get sick."
The chlorine, bromine and other treatment chemicals in swimming pools inactivate the virus.
Experts say as long as the pool is properly maintained, it doesn't matter if it's a private, community or public pool.
But when it comes to spreading COVID-19, it's not the pool, it's the people.
"It's the human droplets that's the problem," de Beixedon said. "If somebody comes in and they're sneezing and they're coughing, they can pass it on to you."
Pools bring people together, so the advice is to stay 6 feet apart in the water.
De Beixedon suggests people swim laps in every other lane, and when you're not in the pool, make sure to wear a face covering.
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Be aware of all high-touch areas such as handrails, lounge chairs, slides and restrooms. Additionally, don't swim if you're not feeling well.
"I would love for people to be able to get out and swim again. But, we need to make sure that people are not sick when they get to go to the pool," de Beixedon said.
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