Cleveland Clinic doctors share do's and don'ts of visiting public pools during coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 1:34 PM, Jun 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-28 13:34:14-04

AKRON, Ohio — Temperatures are expected to rise in Northeast Ohio this week and some cool summer fun is returning just in time. Outdoor public pools in Akron and Canton are planning to reopen.

Starting on July 1, the city of Akron’s outdoor pools at Perkins Park and Reservoir Park will reopen along with splash pads at Joy Park and Patterson Park. The Dogwood Pool at the YMCA in North Canton is also reopening.

But many people are wondering if it's safe to swim during the coronavirus pandemic.

Doctors with Cleveland Clinic said swimming in the water should not be an issue, it's what you do when you’re outside of the pool that people should pay close attention to.

“This is something that really is spreading, to this point, through the air on these droplets. It is unlikely that this is going to be going through the water. I don't expect that pools will be a problem, except for the fact that it brings a bunch of people together in one small area,” said Dr. Frank Esper with Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

They said pools should be well maintained with chlorine or bromine. According to the CDC, chlorinated pool water kills viruses and should inactivate coronavirus.

Pool staff should disinfect all high-touch areas like handrails, lounge chairs, slides, and restrooms. People at the pool should also sanitize their hands after touching those areas, practice social distancing and bring a mask for when they’re out of the pool.

“If you're outside the pool, if you’re on the deck or on the side of a pool, wearing a mask is probably a good idea when you're not swimming,” Dr. Esper said.

Dr. Esper said because public pools bring groups of people together and usually draw children, they’re probably not the best place to hang out this summer if you’re at high risk for COVID-19.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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