This is becoming a very common question in the current climate. But to answer this, you need to know how the virus spreads. The SARS-Cov-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 mostly spreads from person to person by respiratory droplets and spread whilst in close physical contact. In a swimming pool, this could be between six feet to a couple of inches from each bather. If someone starts to sneeze or cough in a pool, the pool area should be cleared just in case that person has spread the virus. However, sometimes chlorine can make someone sneeze or cough or even show systems of covid, so this is a very difficult situation to analyze. We recommend you use a chemical-free swimming pool as this will make it easier to diagnose if the bather has covid 16 or is allergic to chlorine.
Outdoor pools: Outdoor swimming pools are believed to be the safest area to stop the transmission of covid-19 compared to indoor swimming pools. Additionally, if someone is swimming in a pool with chlorine, the risk of contracting the virus is lower.
Regulations and guidance
The following guide highlights the step to operators of public leisure parks, water parks, and aquatic parks to protect their staff and the public, both in the water and out of the water, and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- Wearing face mask on the way to and from the venue
- Social distancing -try to keep one meter plus distance from other people going to and from the venue
- Try to book a swimming session in advance when swimming pools have lower capacity.
Other facilities that should consider incorporating similar safety guards will be:
- Apartment buildings with swimming pools
- Hotels and motels
- Spas and health clubs
Public facilities like the ones mentioned above should be mindful of the fact that some of their members or residents may not have been vaccinated yet, or may have health conditions that mean any vaccinations are not as effective. Therefore, you need to implement procedures and guidelines to make the members and residents feel more comfortable and safer.
A study by Imperial College in London has found that Chlorine can inactivate the COVID-19 virus in as little as thirty seconds. Swim England did a study with baby swimming and the royal lifesaving society in the UK to commission the study. It found that 1.5 mg per liter of free chlorine with a PH between 7-7.2 reduced the effectiveness of the virus by more than one thousand-fold within thirty seconds. Additional testing of different free chlorine and PH ranges confirmed that the chlorine found in the swimming pool water was more effective with the lower PH levels, which are in line with the current guideline for swimming pools operators.
Silver embedded face masks :
Reusable face coverings with claims of bacteria-killing properties are becoming increasingly popular, carrying with them the promise of extra protection for the wearer. From silver and copper-infused face masks to snoods with a silver lining, this high-tech face-covering attacks the bacteria and viruses that land on the mask.
This prevents harmful bacteria from penetrating the mask, plus also the virus cannot have a long life span on the surface of the mask due to the silver and copper ions killing it.
The antimicrobial properties of silver have been recorded throughout history. This includes use by the ancient Greek and Roman societies for such treatments as silver coins placed in water can tines and silver cutlery used on the dining table to destroy any bacteria on their surface. And today, silver is also used in the medical field in products such as wound bandages and dressings, medical scrubs, hospital curtains, and throat sprays. In fact, the national health service has found that silver has the ability to kill over 650 bacteria fungi, and viruses. There are other products on the market claiming to contain nanosievert. This includes baby blankets, toothbrushes, kitchen towels, plus many more items.
Silver is already used in a number of chemical-free swimming pool sanitizers, including the Quest system. This element in water sanitization has been around for a millennium and just needs to use more instead of using chemicals to eradicate bacteria.
Copper applications against viruses:
Copper is one of the most effective viruses killing materials and is a powerful ally in fighting the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 infections. In recent studies, the COVID-19 virus has been found to survive for only 4 hours on copper, compared to for up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces. Apart from its antivirus properties, copper also acts as an antibacterial and antifungal agent.
We have used copper in our ionization rods to destroy algae in swimming pools for many years. Copper is an incredibly effective weapon against bacteria and viruses. When the covid bacteria lands on the copper surface, for example when someone touches, coughs, or sneezes, the metal releases copper ions. These electrically charged particles attach to the outer chemical structure of the virus and destroy the DNA and RNA inside it, these render the virus unable to mutate and not be able to become resistant.
Long before COVID-19 appeared in the world, copper has been used in numerous products including adult and baby clothing, shoes, cosmetics, bedding, and households fittings such as taps and door handles.
So, is using copper and silver ions in ionization and sanitization as effective as chlorine or other sanitizers in fighting the COVID-19 viruses in swimming pools?
The answer is a definite YES, using copper and silver in the pool is a healthier way to have a chlorine-free swimming pool.
Swimming Pool Management Guidance :
- Encourage social distancing with your staff and also the general public both in and out of the water. Make sure no swimmers are gathering at either end of the swim lanes , behind the starting blocks or in the stairs to and from the diving board section. If you have any other attraction such as water slides please make sure you do not have people standing in line waiting to use the apparatus.
Exceptions to the social distance regulations include the following: A swimmer in distress and needs to have first aid or fire or another emergency when the premises need to be evacuated.
Please also make sure you stagger the use of public spaces in the staff rooms if you have employees, in the locker and changing rooms, and by the office or communication area such as an internet or phone area.
Don’t allow staff or the public to gather whilst waiting for access to any entrances. Stay one meter away or 6 feet from people you don’t know.
Stagger the start of swimming lessons and aquatic classes and allow extra time for bathers to arrive and change due to limited changing room areas
Direct people to the exits and encourage people to use a one-way system in the facility, this includes the reception area, changing rooms, toilets, cafés, and corridors. Air ventilators and conditioners should be regularly disinfected to reduce the spread of covid around the swimming pool area. Managers should have a diary of when air conditions should be performed and follow recent government guidelines.
People to use common sense with social distancing around the facilities
People to be aware that people should always wear face masks around the faculties and building.
We would like to highlight the importance of preventing the spread of the COVID-19 viruses and share the following information within your local swimming pool centers or private pools.
- Keep at least one-meter distance from anyone sneezing or coughing
- Wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water and, if possible, with alcohol. Especially before eating, blowing your nose and hands anywhere near your face.
- If you feel you have any of the Covid systems, please stay at home. Keep away from the swimming pool, teammates and fellow swimmers.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces you have come into contact with.
- Monitor the WHO website for all local and national Covid requirements.
Lastly, if you are swimming in a non-chlorinated pool or open pool water, the advice will remain the same, you need to maintain a social distance swim and avoid stopping at the end of land and chatting with other swimmers or your friends. Also, under no circumstance go to the swimming pool if you have experienced any symptoms of COVID-19.
So, the question still remains. Can you contract COVID-19 in a swimming pool? The answer is based on an individual basis. People need to be well-informed before attending the swimming area and should follow the guidelines given by the local facility. People attending the pools should be regularly tested and should be vaccinated to limit transmission. Chlorinated and non-chlorinated pools can be efficient in reducing transmission, and people should feel safe when swimming in a pool. Swimming offers one of the most effective forms of physical exercise and should always be safe when using one. Using a chemical-free swimming pool will always be the best option.