Experts say public swimming pools are safe, but you need to practice social distancing

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2)–Some private pools, like those in hotels and condominiums, are already open and county pools across the state will soon follow. But do they pose a threat regarding COVID-19?

Lieutenant Governor and Hawaii COVID-19 Healthcare liaison Dr. Josh Green said they don’t.

“(Public swimming pools) just are not a major threat. And especially in sunlight where droplets dry up pretty quickly, it’s pretty safe…COVID will not spread in the chlorine water to my knowledge.”

But Green said you still need to social distance.

“It’s important that people still have six feet between themselves and others. Of course, people in your family unit can be together.”

Although there isn’t a date targeted to reopen county pools, Green said it will be in the coming weeks.

According to Department of Parks and Recreation Director Michele Nekota, when they do open, usage would be limited.

“We would only allow lap swimming initially because our lane lines are already set six feet apart so we would able to monitor the physical distancing,” Nekota said.

The number of people allowed into county pools would be determined by the number of lanes in the pool.

“If they have six lanes it will be six, if they have 10 lanes it will be 10.”

She said swimmers will likely have to wait in their cars until a lane opens up.

“We would call them when there’s a lane that’s clear, and they would reserve it in advance as well,” Nekota explained.

Gatherings at county pools will be prohibited until further notice.

Nekota said they will also have to sanitize touch points like shower knobs, lap lanes and turnaround spots after each swimmer uses them.

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