Health officials say COVID-19 means more rules at the pool

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — In triple-digit heat, there are usually cool pools to jump into and get instant relief.

But in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, all city aquatic facilities, which include 13 pools and four play pools across the Sacramento area, are closed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the safe way to enjoy swimming pools during COVID-19 is to maintain the social distancing rule of staying 6 feet apart.

“The water itself is not necessarily the problem,” said Dr. Sima Asadi, the chair of pediatrics at Mercy Medical Center in Merced. “Once they get in the water, the best advice I have is for family groups to stick together and to try to distance your kids from other kids.”

Dr. Asadi said it’s critical that parents make sure their children maintain proper hygiene while in the water.

“So, no sharing goggles with other people. Your eyes can be contagious to others. So, no sharing goggles and please, no sharing snorkels,” Dr. Asadi explained.

Once everyone is out of the water, the transmission of germs can continue.

“Even more so, important to keep your family unit together and to as much extent separate from other family units. So, not sitting next to each other,” Dr. Asadi told FOX40.

Even before families head out the door to enjoy swimming pools or other bodies of water, they should remember what Dr. Asadi said is “the most important thing” to put in their beach bags — hand sanitizer.

Once kids or even adults get out of the water “they’re hungry,” Dr. Asadi said.

“And the first thing people want to do when they get out of the water is eat,” she continued. 

In an effort to keep everyone safe, the doctor said cities should not only manage the number of people in the pool at one time but also the number of people in the areas surrounding the pool.

“Manage the perimeter of the pool. Manage the restroom facilities. Manage any common facilities that people use so as to maintain social distancing and avoid transmission,” Dr. Asadi said.

The CDC says they have no evidence to show that the novel coronavirus is transmitted in the water.

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