Want to swim? CDC sets guidelines for safe swimming this summer

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

With Memorial Day on the horizon, meaning the unofficial start of summer, and hot, humid days ahead for Alabama ad Shelby County residents, many are wondering if they will be able to cool off with a dip in the pool.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently released its guidelines for healthy and safe swimming this summer, as we continue to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“There is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through the water used in pools, hot tubs or water playgrounds,” the CDC says. “Proper operation and disinfection of pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds should kill the virus that causes COVID-19.”

The CDC, however, says it is important for individuals as well as owners and operators of pool facilities to take steps to ensure health and safety, which are listed below:

  • Everyone should follow local and state guidance that may determine when and how recreational water facilities may operate.
  • Individuals should continue to protect themselves and others at recreational water venues both in and out of the water – for example, by practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene.
  • In addition to ensuring water safety and quality, owners and operators of community pools, hot tubs, spas and water play areas should follow the interim guidance for businesses and employers for cleaning and disinfecting their community facilities.

With the Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s latest safer-at-home amendment on May 8, pools are allowed to open but must abide by social-distancing rules and other guidelines.

Those guidelines include the following: Employees shall not knowingly allow patrons or guests to congregate within 6 feet of a person from another household. Employees must take reasonable steps to prevent people from congregating in lobby areas, break rooms and other common areas.

With the CDC and Ivey’s approval, local governing bodies and then local facilities can determine whether they want to allow their pools to open with the new guidelines.