Are you the proud owner of a hot tub or swimming pool? Or perhaps you have a friend or family member who has one of these luxurious backyard water features? You may be wondering if it is safe to swim or soak during the COVID-19 pandemic. In short, with the right precautions, water treatment and sanitation, it is safe to use a hot tub or swimming pool during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s take a closer look at how you can safely spend time in the water with loved ones, as we continue to navigate this pandemic, while staying both safe and healthy.
Using a Hot Tub or a Pool During COVID-19
We can say with confidence that the virus can’t infect through sanitized water. In fact, the CDC has guidelines regarding public pool safety; a huge part of their protocol tacitly assumes that the virus can’t infect anyone through properly balanced and cleaned water. When treated with water care products and chemicals, viruses and bacteria will be eliminated, reducing the risk of transmission while in the water. This doesn’t go to say that the virus cannot be spread in the air above the water, though, which is why it’s important to remain a minimum of six feet apart from those not in your household or bubble, disinfect high-touch surfaces, and stay home if you are not feeling well.
By following these guidelines, you won’t just be keeping yourself safe. Everyone who uses the pool or hot tub won’t run a heightened risk of catching it, which means less worrying about whether someone might unwittingly dive in and ruin your fun.
Disinfect Your Pools with Chlorine or Bromine Frequently
Chlorine and bromine treatments are the most common ways of sanitizing public pools. They can reduce, if not eliminate viruses and bacteria in the water, including COVID-19. However, over time, the chlorine and bromine ions that kill germs tend to run out. They get “spent” as they break down dirt and germs. They can also run out when the water is turned into steam, as happens in most hot tubs. To ensure that your pool or spa remains safe and enjoyable, be sure to test and treat the water regularly.
Keep an Eye Out on the Chlorine Concentration and pH Levels of the Water Regularly
Actually, what really kills germs isn’t exactly the amount of chlorine and bromine ions in the water. It’s the pH level which makes the germs become more fragilely malleable and break apart. The best way to change the pH level is by manipulating the ratio between the unspent ions and water, preferring higher levels to keep it more alkaline.
Social Distance (Even While You’re in the Pool or Hot Tub!)
Even though the virus can’t travel through treated water, it can still move through the air that everyone breathes. To reduce the risk of transmission, be sure to maintain a distance of six feet from others at all times.
If your hot tub does not allow for six feet between each person, it may be in your best interest, and that of your guests, to hold off on using the spa. The risk of getting sick or getting another person sick simply isn’t worth the reward. Instead, spend time six feet apart outside of the hot tub by going for a walk, sitting in chairs or having a video call.
Do Not Use a Face Mask Inside the Pool or Hot Tub
While face masks can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they are actually a lot less effective while you stay in the pool. This is because disposable surgical masks can only work at full capacity when they are dry. Once they get wet, the small fibers that form its protective layer will start to tear up. This forms larger microscopic holes that will allow the coronavirus to pass through.
Another problem with face masks is their ability to attract germs. The mask may have germs or bacteria on the outside, so getting it wet and in contact with the water actually can release the germs it has collected into it, and some of them may pass through the compromised fabric and enter your nose and mouth instead.
Lastly, if your face mask or covering gets wet, it may make it harder for you to breathe. Since you are outside in your hot tub or swimming pool, in the fresh air and with help from the breeze, maintaining a distance of six feet from others can help to reduce the risk of transmission greatly, making the need for a mask less of a priority.
Clean and Disinfect High-Touch Surfaces
During pool parties and similar events, most amenities are shared among the people who join in. From showers to handrails… even towels are sometimes shared! Since these things are usually unsoaked with the treated water in hot tubs and Jacuzzis®, the virus can potentially survive long enough to wait for someone else to touch the same surface, and from there infect them.
Wash Your Hands Every So Often
You may think that you are clean while in the water — and you really are, to a certain degree — but the moment you step out and touch the outdoor patio furniture or other fixtures, you may be exposing yourself to risk. You never know if someone with the virus might have touched these things beforehand. That’s why you should always scrub your hands after you leave the pool.
Soak with Those Only Within Your Family or Bubble
It should go without saying, but you should only really join in when you’re with people you know. This way, it’ll be easier to track down everyone if someone does get the virus. Contact tracers can only go as far as asking where someone went and who they were with. If nobody knew who you were, you might catch COVID-19 and not know until it’s too late.
Do Not Make Plans with Those Who May Be at a Higher Risk of Getting the Virus
Cruel as it may appear, spending time with people who are at risk of contracting the virus increases your chance of getting it, too. If you plan to go for a swim with a few family members or friends, it may be better to keep everyone else safe by limiting it to a small number of attendees, preferably those within your bubble, and making sure that none of them have experienced any symptoms in the previous weeks.
Are You Experiencing Symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are actually similar to flu symptoms. Getting a fever is one of them, but other warning signs are having a dry cough or feeling lethargic. Some people may “only” have a sore throat and a splitting headache that just doesn’t go away. The moment you realize that you’re feeling any of these symptoms, you shouldn’t waste time. Get checked out just to be safe, and avoid potentially infecting others.
A Private Pool Might Be Better
Reduce your risk of COVID-19 by staying home in the comfort of your backyard living space. You can always build your own private oasis; either by yourself or with a knowledgeable hot tub dealer lending you a hand. Jacuzzi Hot Tubs of Charlotte can help you by installing a Jacuzzi® Swim Spa, Carvin Pool or Jacuzzi® Hot Tub right in your backyard. Please just give us a call or visit our showroom for more helpful advice and guidance from our friendly sales team today!