Girl swimming in water during the summer
Healthy Living

COVID-19 and Water: Is it Safe to Go Swimming this Summer?

Jun 1 2020

While COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets produced during a cough or sneeze, you may still have questions about whether or not the virus can spread through water. This is especially true as we enter the summer months and swimming season.

Review these FAQs to find answers on questions surrounding water as it relates to COVID-19.

Can COVID-19 spread through drinking water?

As of now, there has not been detection of COVID-19 in drinking water. There are filtration systems currently in place to disinfect and treat water are able to either remove or kill the virus.

Continue to use tap water as you normally would, especially to wash your hands. Washing them with soap and water on a regular basis is the best way you can prevent the spread of COVID-19. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol when water is not available.

It is also important to stay hydrated during the hot summer months, especially during physical activity. Aim to drink water consistently throughout your day.

Can COVID-19 spread in pools, hot tubs or recreational water?

At this time, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to others through water when it comes to pools, hot tubs, recreational water and water playgrounds. If these places are properly maintained, cleaned and disinfected, the virus should be either removed or inactivated during that process.

If you are heading to one of these locations to swim this summer, it is still important to keep six feet between yourself and others. Keep your close interactions to only the people in your household, both in and out of the water. If you are bringing kids, make sure you are keeping an eye on them at all times.

If a local pool, lake, park or beach is open, it should have specific COVID-19 precautions for visitors to follow this summer. Make sure to read up on these rules before you arrive.

Also, if you or someone in your household is high-risk for COVID-19, you may want to think twice about heading out to lots of different public settings this summer to limit overall exposure.

Where can I learn more?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a lot of great information regarding many different types of water safety. Visit their website to become familiar with their tips.

Stay updated on what Mercy Health is doing related to COVID-19.

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