Now that it’s officially summer and the temperatures in many parts of the country are rising beyond what’s comfortable, many of us are dreaming of the cool escape of a pool. We’ve already discussed what you need to know before going swimming in a public pool or beach, but what about taking a dip in someone’s backyard? (After you’ve been invited, of course.) Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a backyard pool of your own, how can you invite friends over to use it and make sure everyone stays safe in the process?
Don’t congregate for long periods of time
According to the CDC, at this point, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through pool water, especially if the water is treated with chlorine or bromine and is regularly cleaned. The key to safely using backyard pools is to maintain social distancing as much as possible when you’re out of the pool.
“If the families sharing an outdoor pool aren’t congregating together for long periods of time in and around the pool it’s probably quite safe,” Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health told the New York Times. “Adults swimming laps while distanced from each other is probably quite safe.”
Know who you’re swimming with
Not everyone has been taking social distancing and mask-wearing seriously over the past few months. So if someone who falls into this category invites you over to use their pool, you may want to think twice. (The same goes for pool owners when it comes to deciding whom to invite over.)
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“I’d encourage people in this situation to discuss risk mitigation measures and consider ways to minimize cross-household exposures while using the pool,” Rasmussen told the New York Times. “I wouldn’t want my kids playing with kids from a family who was going out in public all the time without masks and generally disregarding precautions for COVID.”
Communicate with each other
Whether you’re the guest or the host, it’s important to make sure everyone’s on the same page in terms of the rules for being both in and out of the pool. For example, if you own a pool and have established some kind of swimming schedule, or set a limit on how many people can swim at a time, let your guests know right away. This can help avoid confusion and disappointment—especially when people are already hot and cranky.
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