Are you in Danger of COVID-19 in the Water?

Can you get the coronavirus from swimming, or does chlorine kill it? We’ll answer these questions here!

With beaches and lakes being flooded with people during memorial day weekend even with a stay-at-home order, you might wonder if this can infect you if you go swimming. The main way is through respiratory droplets, and that happens within 6 feet of another person. So what does it mean in bodies of water.  Currently, the CDC says there’s no evidence that you can get the coronavirus through swimming in the pool, and that if you clean it with chlorine or bromine should inactivate the virus. So why are pools remaining closed? Well it’s because it spreads easily. For example, if someone spits out a mouthful of water, that can infect people close on by. There is also the fact that humans love to shit on the shallow end sand some will play a game and they’re more likely to get it from the saliva of people talking and shouting.

Not only that, they tend to have a lot of surfaces which are touched a lot, such as railings and steps. This is hard to fully keep cleaned out, and bathrooms, lunch lines, and even shady indoor areas can get flooded with people and foot traffic. So simply put, it isn’t that case, mostly because humans love to touch things.

But what about the lake or beach? Well some places have them closed off to prevent the spread. Again, it’s because of how many people are there.  many beaches in California are closed, while others are open for active recreation, which might be enforced by a beach patrol vehicle or lifeguards. So hanging out to grill or go on a picnic won’t happen. You should limit the people that go to the beach with you. Water is safe as long as you social distance from others you’re not in close contact with a lot.  If someone is sick and the coronavirus is in the water, it’s very unlikely to transmit this, since this can dilute the secretions, making it difficult for those particles to come in contact with you.

The problem is, you might not even know that someone’s infected, because there are asymptomatic people.

So can you go outside with friends on the lake.  This can spread more easily in enclosed areas or those who share the same air, which is why the opening of curbside pickups and outdoor dining is being phased.  You should check to see if these small gatherings are allowed.  You might have to rain check it as well if you’re not limited to only the people at home. Also look if you spend time with older people or those with a compromised immune system. Make sure you stay away from others, and don’t load the boat up with a bunch of people sitting near one another, and don’t share drinks.  Try to discourage reusable cups as well.  You should keep everything socially distant.

So yes, while it can be safe, please use your best judgement, and make sure that you’re being smart and safe. Remember just because it’s getting warmer doesn’t mean the coronavirus magically went away.