Lastest News on the Coronavirus and Aquatics Facilities

Can I contract the virus in a swimming pool?

Ania BessonovAmil Niazi · CBC News · Posted: Apr 23, 2020 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: April 23 

As the weather gets warmer, we're getting more questions about pool protocol. John M. wants to know if he can have his kids and grandkids come over separately to swim in his private pool. 

Experts say it is unlikely someone can become infected with the coronavirus by swimming in a pool. 

"There is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can survive in pools that are properly monitored and treated," with routine measures like chlorine and bromine, says Dr. Ilan Schwartz, infectious disease clinician and assistant professor at the University of Alberta.

The risk of transmission is from inhaling droplets produced from coughing, sneezing or talking — all of which require people being relatively close to each other. 

"It's not so much the pool that gives the risk of transmission," says Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, infectious diseases physician at Trillium Health Partners, but "rather, being in close proximity to someone else who may be infected."

The water itself would not be a risk in transmission, he adds.

However, health officials are still recommending that we physically distance and stay home as much as possible, so John should wait until restrictions loosen before having his family over for pool time.  

Right now, public pools are closed and most condo boards have also closed their amenities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But, as things start to gradually open, Chakrabarti predicts there will be restrictions put in place to limit how many people can be in a public pool at one time. 

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