Nothing says summer quite like a day at the pool. But just as the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has reshaped aspects of our daily lives, it's also changed what a trip to the pool looks like. In fact,
photos of pools reopening show how coronavirus precautions have altered one of summer's most popular activities.
As a result of the pandemic, folks can expect to find a slew of additional rules and precautions in place at their local pool — if it's even allowed to reopen. In an effort to reduce the risk of infection, pools given the green light to reopen have instituted a number of health and safety measures, including reducing capacity, lifeguards in face masks, increased cleaning and disinfecting, jumbo-sized bottles of hand sanitizer, and frequent reminders about hand washing and social distancing. But is swimming safe?
As of July 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted in a guidance for beaches and pools that there is "no evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the
virus that causes COVID-19, can spread to people through water in these places." Even so, the CDC has urged pools and aquatic centers to promote behaviors that prevent the spread by posting signs reminding visitors to follow safety measures. Pools are also asked to have an adequate amount of soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, tissues, cleaning supplies, and no-touch trash cans.
For pool-goers, the CDC recommends anyone over the age of 2 wear a face covering when not in the water. Folks should also bring their own hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, tissues, and paper towels and avoid sharing items such as pool toys or floats with anyone who does not live in their house.
Of course, not every state has moved to reopen public pools. In Chicago, for example, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that she had
no plans to reopen pools and beaches across the city any time soon due to such places being "ripe for congregate gathering and not social distancing." According to NBC News, Lightfoot said city officials did not want to hinder or derail the progress currently being seen in lowering coronavirus case numbers.
To the south, concerns over a recent surge in coronavirus cases has led
officials in Austin to close a number of other city pools after short-lived re-openings.
Those looking to beat the heat with a swim are urged to check with their local pool before grabbing their towel and heading out the door. If you do, here's a look at what it could look like.
Expect Additional Rules MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images/MediaNews Group/Getty Images
The Conrad Weiser Community Pool in Heidelberg, Pennsylvania, opened for the 2020 summer season on June 5 with additional rules and precautions to help limit the spread of coronavirus. Signs posted at lifeguard stands noted only 10 people were allowed in each pool zones and swimmers were not allowed to change zones from within the pool. Additional rules included keeping six feet of physical distance between you and anyone not in your household and not sharing pool floats or toys with anyone from outside your household. Swimmers were also instructed to "cover" their coughs and sneezes.
Practice Social Distancing MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images/MediaNews Group/Getty Images
Squares painted six feet apart on a grassy lawn beside the Conrad Weiser Community Pool in Pennsylvania aim to help families maintain social distancing while relaxing outside the pool.
Look For Heightened Cleaning And Disinfecting MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images/MediaNews Group/Getty Images
Lounge chairs at the Conrad Weiser Community Pool in Pennsylvania, are sanitized by pool staff between uses and left in a specially marked area for future guests. Upon reopening, many pools have stepped up cleaning and sanitization procedures in an attempt to protect guests and staff from contracting coronavirus.
Bring Out The Jumbo Size Hand Sanitizer MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images/MediaNews Group/Getty Images
A large jug of hand sanitizer sits available for guests' use at the Wilshire Pool in Spring Township, Pennsylvania, after the pool reopened to the public on June 13. According to Getty, the pool's summer 2020 opening was delayed slightly due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
High-Touch Surfaces Will Get Frequent Cleaning MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images/MediaNews Group/Getty Images
To limit the spread of coronavirus, lifeguards at the Wilshire Pool in Spring Township, Pennsylvania, disinfect tables and other high-touch surfaces as part of the pool's heightened sanitation efforts.
Be Cautious Of Crowds MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images/MediaNews Group/Getty Images
Guests gather in socially distanced groups on the grass at the Wilshire Pool in Spring Township, Pennsylvania, during the pool's opening day in June.
Pools Will Likely Limit Capacity MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images/MediaNews Group/Getty Images
Swimmers practice social distancing while within the waters of the Wilshire Pool in Spring Township, Pennsylvania. The pool opened to guests June `13.
Face Masks Won't Be Required When Swimming SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Swimmers in the wave pool at Island H20 Live! water park in Kissimmee, Florida, are reminded not to use face masks while swimming or on water rides. While the water park has said it
will limit capacity and encourage social distancing among guests, face masks are not required to be worn anywhere inside the park. According to Getty, Island H20 Live! water park was the only major water park in the Orlando area to reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend in late May. Relaxation Is Still Possible SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
A group of five guests floats in a raft at Island H20 Live! water park in Kissimmee, Florida. The park reopened just in time for Memorial Day weekend with some additional rules and precautions in place to help protect guests from coronavirus.
Social Distancing Will Remain In Place SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Social distancing instructions are posted outside of a restroom facility at Island H20 Live! water park in Kissimmee, Florida. Upon reopening, the water park has instituted a number of precautionary measures including encouraging guests to social distance as much and as often as possible.
"Social Distancing is a shared responsibility between our guests and the park," the water park states on its website. "We provide guidance, but we count on our guests to follow this guidance in order to maintain the safest conditions for all guests and staff members."
For Lifeguards, Face Masks May Be Part Of The Uniform Rick Bowmer/AP/Shutterstock
A lifeguard at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, wears a face mask while monitoring swimmers in the pool on May 21.
Kids Can Still Play, But Should Be Urged To Practice Social Distancing Paul Hennessy/SOPA/Images/Shutterstock
Children play together in the wave pool at
LEGOLAND Florida Water Park upon its reopening on June 1. As part of its reopening precautions, the water park required guests to have their temperatures checked and has encouraged, but not mandated, the wearing of face masks when outside the water. Sunglasses? Check. Rescue Float Tube? Check. Face Mask? Check. Rick Bowmer/AP/Shutterstock
Lifeguards at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, returned to work in May with new requirements to wear face masks while on duty outside the pool.
Aim To Practice Social Distancing Even When In The Pool Francesco Spotorno/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
A family takes a dip in the pool at the Bahia Principe Fantasia resort in the Dominican Republic's Punta Cana on the
day the country reopened hotels and other tourism venues. Pools Are Finding Creative Ways To Help Guests Social Distance Raul Caro/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Staff at Tiro de Linea, a public pool in Seville, Spain, use hula hoops to help guests practice social distancing when retrieving their belongings outside the pool.
Even French Lifeguards Are Wearing Face Masks DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images
In France, a lifeguard at a public swimming pool in Chartres-de-Bretagne watches swimmers while wearing a face mask. After months of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, this community pool in western France was able to reopen on June 4.
Come Early To Ensure Entrance China News Service/China News Service/Getty Images Despite Changes, Swimming Looks The Same China News Service/China News Service/Getty Images
Swimmers returned to Yingdong natatorium in Wuhan, China, to swim laps on June 18, the first day of the pool's reopening after months of closure due to coronavirus.
Swimming And Sunbathing In Shifts David Benito/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Women lay out their towels at the Vicente del Bosque Municipal Sports Center swimming pool on July 1 in Madrid, Spain. Madrid's city council reopened municipal swimming pools at reduced capacity at the beginning of July after closing them due to coronavirus. According to Getty, pools in Madrid will welcome guests in a morning shift and an afternoon shift.
Pools Can Still Be A Fun Place To Play Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS/Getty Images
A woman cradles a young child wrapped snugly in a towel at Aquatic Sports Palace inside the Luzhniki Olympic Sports Complex in Moscow, Russia. After a short government-imposed closure and lockdown, the aquatic center reopened to visitors June 23.
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