Swimming pools everywhere are closing or are closed due to coronavirus concerns. We have compiled research from several health and local authorities clarifying why this is happening and whether swimming is still safe or not.
For more information on COVID-19, see our article which compiles research on what and how this pandemic started and spread.
Can you get COVID-19 from the water?
The coronavirus is a respiratory virus that spreads mainly via airborne droplets over a short distance, which can quickly settle on nearby surfaces. You can get the virus when you then touch these infected surfaces and then touch your eyes, mouth and / or nose.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) said:
“There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of swimming pools and spas. The proper operation, maintenance and disinfection (for example, with chlorine and bromine) of swimming pools and spas should eliminate or inactivate the virus responsible for COVID-19. "
In fact, Covid-19 has not been detected in even ordinary tap drinking water, let alone in a properly chlorinated and disinfected swimming pool. As long as proper filtration and disinfection is used, your pool water and drinking water should be safe.
Why are the swimming pools closed then?
Public health officials and property managers have started shutting down public and / or community / condo pools and recommend that individuals reduce contact with each other through social distancing. Since the coronavirus is a respiratory disease that is most easily spread through close human contact, most authorities recommend limiting the size of public groups to less than 10 or 50 people. These closures are an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 by preventing areas that people can congregate in close contact in large groups, not because swimming pools are inherently dangerous.
How long does COVID-19 last on surfaces?
A recent study by scientists from the National Institute of Health found that the virus can stay alive for up to three days on different surfaces. Researchers have found that the virus can last up to:
- 3 hours of flight
- 24 hours on cardboard
- 48 hours on stainless steel
- 72 hours on plastic
While the virus can last up to 72 hours, the half-life, or the time it takes for half of the virus to die, has been found to be around 5.6 hours on stainless steel and 6. 8 hours on plastic. Since this research found that the virus disintegrates faster over time, you would be much less likely to get infected after those few hours.
Although your risk is reduced after a few hours, public health officials and property managers have closed most swimming pools as these facilities still pose a risk of greater disease transmission and spread. Think: doorknobs, pool ladders, benches, diving boards, changing rooms, etc.
Can I use my residential pool?
All of the authorities' recommendations were to close public and community swimming pools to enforce social distancing / stay-at-home restrictions to avoid human contact; not because current health guidelines think you can contract coronavirus from your pool water. Backyard pools are generally fenced due to local municipal rules. These physical barriers restrict others' access to your pool, allowing you to minimize risk.
So if you have a private pool, you can keep it open at your discretion. Just pay attention to how many people have access to your pool and make sure they are doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Otherwise, using your pool during a period of social distancing or self-isolation at home can be a great way to exercise and keep the family entertained.
Adopt safe swimming hygiene
To be as safe as possible and to reduce the risk of spreading transmission when swimming, we recommend these safety tips:
- shower before and after enter the pool
- Bring sanitary wipes and disinfect any equipment used / shared before and after swimming with others
- Wear goggles, or if you have, a full face mask to avoid touching your eyes / face
In general, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you should:
- Make sure all participants wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before starting a session
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose
- Try to maintain a distance of 4 to 6 feet from other people
Do I have to drain my swimming pool?
Since there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread in swimming pools or in chlorinated / filtered water, there is no need to empty your pool and you should go through your usual water change routine. of swimming pool. As long as you take care of your pool on a daily basis and adhere to proper maintenance and proper pH levels, you won't have to change your pool water. For swimming pools open all year round, the usual frequency to change the water in your pool is 5-7 years.
Are swimming lessons safe?
The guidelines will change based on current recommendations from your public health professionals, but for now (April 2020), swimming lessons and pools are safe, and most lesson and pool providers are on hiatus simply to promote social distancing and flatten the curve.
Even when social distancing is relaxed, the world will be on high alert for any signs of spikes in COVID-19 cases until a vaccine can be mass produced. Until then, it's best to remain cautious and avoid large groups to reduce the risk of you or your loved ones getting infected.
Swimming is a vital skill and everyone should learn to stay safe and confident around the water when pools start to open. As restrictions ease, private swimming lessons in your home or apartment pool can be a great way to avoid large groups and crowded pools.
The following information was found on the Enjoy Swimming website. Tips like this and a whole lot more will be covered at the Nike Swim Camp at Trinity College this summer !
Having a good freestyle swimming technique is essential for an effective stroke. Being effective means either being relaxed while swimming at slow to moderate speed or swimming fast without being exhausted too quickly. The swimming tips in this article will help you become a more effective freestyle swimmer.
Keep your head in line with your trunk and look straight down toward the bottom of the pool. Don’t look forward because otherwise you will have the tendency to lift your head, which will in turn cause your hips and legs to drop and you will have to kick harder to keep them up.
Learn how to press your buoy, which has the benefit of keeping your hips and legs up without much effort. This freestyle swimming technique requires you to apply downward pressure on your head and chest. As your lungs are filled with air and very buoyant, pressing down your upper body causes the lower body to rise up through a coucher effect. You then don’t need to kick that anymore.
Don’t lift your head just before breathing. This common error also causes your hips and legs to drop. Rather roll on your side and let your head roll a little bit further until your mouth clears the water. It should feel like your head was resting sideways on a pillow made of water.
Try to swim more on your sides rather than flat on your stomach and chest. Roll from side to side with each arm stroke. This allows you to engage the larger back groupes de muscles in addition to the shoulder zones musculaires and improves your propulsion.
tera obtain an effective freestyle swimming technique you need to exhale continuously in the water while your face is submerged. There simply isn’t enough time to both inhale and exhale on the side during a breathing arm recovery. This also lets you relax more in the water.
Learn how to swim with a so-called high elbow. This freestyle swimming technique consists in flexing your arm and keeping your elbow high in the water during the under water arm sweat so that your forearm is facing backward rather than downward for as long as possible, which improves propulsion.
While recovering your arm forward don’t extend it completely above water before letting it drop in the water because it increases drag and can also lead to swimmer’s shoulder over time. It is better to enter the water with your hand shortly after it has passed your head and then to extend the arm forward under water.
Save energy by using a relaxed two-beat kick for middle and long en ligne swimming. This means that you kick at the same pace as you stroke with your arms.
Make sure your palm is parallel to the water surface while it extends forward under water during the arm recovery. A common mistake freestyle swimmers make is to angle their palm upward at the end of the recovery. In that case they are in fact pushing water forward and slowing themselves down.
In the beginning, a nose clip can be useful because it keeps water out of your nose and so this is one less thing to worry about and you can relax more. Once your technique and gestion has improved later on you will be able to get rid of the nose clip without too much effort. Personally I used a nose clip for a year while learning the freestyle stroke before getting rid of it.
The 10 swimming tips presented in this article should help you improve your freestyle swimming technique. Some of these tips can be applied immediately, others will need some time to be mastered. So have a good time while trying them out and be patient if it takes some time to master them.