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Keep Your Distance: COVID-19 Safety for Pools & Splash Pads

NOTE: This COVID-19 post is over a year old and may contain outdated information. It has been left up for archival purposes only. For the most up-to-date information on masking, vaccines, and more, visit the CDC’s website.

As summer heats up, a trip to the pool or community splash pad is a great way to cool down. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when visiting a pool or splash pad during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CDC Guidelines

The CDC states that there is no current evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to people through recreational water such as pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. They also state that proper disinfection with chlorine and bromine of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water. 

However, it is still important to limit close contact with people outside of your home when visiting public pools and water playgrounds as well as natural bodies of water – to slow the spread of COVID-19. Individuals, as well as facility operators, must take steps to ensure the health and safety of others as well as themselves. 

Cover Your Cough

Staff and patrons should wash their hands and cover their coughs and sneezes. Anyone who is feeling sick should stay home.

Disinfect Frequently Touched Surfaces

Pool and splash pad staff should disinfect frequently touched surfaces on the pool deck and in the locker room. Pool and splash pad goers should use disinfection wipes and hand sanitizer to be safe and bring their own towels and pool toys.

Follow Local Guidelines

Some counties have different guidelines for pool and splash pad capacity, as well as mask wearing. In Eastern Jackson County, pools and splash pads can find capacity restrictions in our Phase 2.5 document. Currently, Eastern Jackson County is under a mask ordinance, so masks should be worn on the pool deck, but not in the water. 

Mask Up Until You Dive In

Masks should be taken off before getting in the pool. However, if social distancing cannot be maintained, masks should be put back on upon exiting the pool and drying one’s face. While in the pool, social distancing must be strictly maintained between you and those outside of your immediate household.

What to Bring

In addition to sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and water, don’t forget your mask, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes. Also, make sure to bring your own towel, beach toys, or swimming gear. 

Stay 6 Feet Apart, In & Out of the Water

While in the water, swimmers should keep 6 feet of distance from anyone outside of their immediate household. Six feet of distance should also be maintained while on deck. Parents should consider whether their children can stay 6 feet away from anyone they don’t live with. If they cannot, parents should explore other alternatives, such as a less populated pool or at-home water activities, such as sprinklers or water balloons.

Don’t Share Gear

The sharing of pool equipment that touches one’s face – such as goggles or snorkels is not advised, even among members of the same household. Any other gear should not be shared with people outside your home.