So, it’s a particularly hot and sweaty summer here in South Africa, and we’re still battling through the COVID pandemic. What’s the deal with swimming with COVID? Can we? Should we? 

Just a note that this isn’t medical advice, and you should always do your own homework or consult your medical practitioner before making any decisions. 

Should I be swimming with COVID?

This question comes up, in part, because many people think that the sanitizer in our swimming pools is a cure for all sorts of viruses and bacteria. 

As we know, COVID has proven a bit of a mystery and while it has, sadly, proven fatal for some, others only experience mild symptoms.

For those who just feel a little ill and are still up and about, how will swimming affect you and your family?

The good news, according to the CDC, is that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread in recreational swimming pools, provided the water is properly sanitized.

They add that a reasonable amount of outdoor exercise is a great way to stay healthy, which a swimming pool offers in abundance. 

However, there are still factors that we need to consider before diving into the deep end. 

  1. Swimming in chlorinated water, while you are sick, may place undue strain on your lungs. Even if you feel well, this is something to be aware of. 
  2. Chlorine is used as a disinfectant and is known to be effective against viruses. The EPA indicates that it is probably effective against the coronavirus too in a well-maintained swimming pool.
    While it is unlikely to spread in the water, it can still be transmitted through coughing or touching the steps or other areas in the pool. The virus can stay alive on certain surfaces for hours, and in some cases (like on plastic or stainless steel) for days. It’s a good idea then to restrict the use of your pool to healthy immediate family members only.
  3. As an extra precaution against all viruses and bacteria, be sure to maintain a regular schedule of disinfection of pool equipment, toys, floaties, and the surrounding areas. 

Enjoy your swimming pool this summer, just be careful and make smart decisions to keep your family safe.