Concerns for COVID-19 at pools & splash pads

Posted at 6:55 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 19:55:45-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As splash pads and some pools are set to open on Monday, some are wondering if COVID-19 can spread through the water? But medical experts warn there is another concern they’re more focused on.

“We’re focusing less on, don't go to the pool or don’t go the splash pad and more on how can you do that safely,” said Dr. Jasmine Marcelin, Infectious Disease Physician with the University of Nebraska Medicine.

We know COVID-19 can spread through the air, but there isn’t enough information on if it spreads through the water.

“It’s unlikely but we just don’t have data to actually say yes or no for that yet,” said Dr. Marcelin.

She also says it’s also unclear if chemicals like chlorine in pools will kill the virus, and because of that visitors shouldn’t count on it.

“I don’t think in any of these situations that we should really be relying on how much chemicals are in the pools because that’s such a variable thing,” said Dr. Marcelin.

During Nebraska Medicine's weekly update, Dr. Kelly Cawcutt said just because the virus may not spread in the water doesn’t mean there isn’t concern.

“I am more concerned about them sitting close together in the beach chairs or at the water park component and having a lot of crowding,” said Dr. Cawcutt.

So no matter where you’re at, it’s important to remember social distancing and good hand hygiene.

“Anything that you can touch and then subsequently touch your face is potentially problematic,” said Dr. Marcelin.

She recommends families stay 6 feet away from each other and to wear a mask when you’re not in the water, she hopes by doing so people can enjoy the things that gives us a break from the heat.