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Can You Get COVID-19 From Swimming Pool Water?

There’s no doubt that the current pandemic has irrevocably changed our lives. Things that we once considered commonplace are now thought of as risky and may even be forbidden. Going to a gym, going out for dinner, or taking an international vacation are now thought of in a completely different way. But what about your swim spa?  Can you get Covid-19 from swimming pool water? In this article, we compile some of the most recent opinions and information provided by scientists and medical professionals as to the risk associated with swimming.

Coronavirus Transmission Basics

As the coronavirus is a newly established transmission vector, the scientific community’s understanding of it is literally changing on a daily basis. What is known about it now is far beyond what was known about it six months ago, but it’s still a puzzle that’s being unraveled. However, even from the early days since the pandemic has been officially announced, it’s widely thought that Covid-19 is highly unlikely to be passed on through water. Because the coronavirus is considered a respiratory virus, it’s mainly passed from person to person through droplets discharged from the mouth or nose and into the air. It’s also believed that Covid-19 can be contracted by touching contaminated surfaces and transferring the virus to the eyes, nose, and mouth, but this isn’t thought to be the primary form of transference.

Airborne Versus Waterborne Diseases

Covid-19 is considered an airborne disease which bodes well for owners of swim spas, pools, and hot tubs. Unlike the bacteria or viruses that cause waterborne diseases such as cholera and polio, there has been no evidence found that the coronavirus can actually be transmitted through water. And considering the sanitizing chemicals in pool water, such as chlorine or bromine, the chances of the coronavirus surviving and infecting bathers appears to be rather slim, if not impossible. So, it appears that as long as you’re maintaining proper water chemistry in your swim spa, pool, or hot tub, your swimming pool water shouldn’t be the cause of any danger.

Possible Risks in The Water

Probably the biggest possible risk for contracting Covid-19 while swimming or bathing is if you’re with other people and you’re not maintaining social distancing precautions. While the virus may not be able to pass through the water, if you’re in prolonged proximity with an infected person, you may contract the virus through the air. Current guidelines suggest that you should stay at least two metres apart from people who aren’t from your own household. And this includes while spending any time in a swim spa, swimming pool, or hot tub. What this social distancing does is reduce the ability of the virus to travel through the air from an infected person to someone else.

Indoors Versus Outdoors

It’s also been found that the virus is more easily spread in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. It’s not as easily transmitted outdoors where the abundance of fresh air is able to dilute the concentration of the virus to the point of it not being infectious. So, if your swim spa, swimming pool, or hot tub is outdoors and you’re able to maintain proper social distancing, the chances of acquiring the virus become much lower. 

Other Safety Precautions

So, although it appears the chances of passing an airborne virus through swimming pool water is relatively low, there is still the possibility of exhaled droplets landing on surfaces outside the swim spa or pool. For this reason, proper hand hygiene is still important when spending time around the water with other people. Washing your hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer with a 60% or more ethanol content or 70% or more isopropanol content on a regular should minimize the chances of disease.

Now that you know the recommendations regarding COVID-19 and swimming pool water, download our swim spa buyer’s guide to learn more about keeping your spa sanitary.