Pool, Beach Or Boat? The Riskiest Water Activity During A Pandemic

July 8, 2020
Woman wearing mask on beach

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Meteorologists are warning of an exceptionally hot July. If 2020 was a normal year, you wouldn't think twice about inviting friends over for a pool party, gathering up with all your buddies at the beach or piling as many people as possible on a boat or a ride on the river. However with daily COVID-19 records broken daily in Florida, those activities can cause you to re-think the risk of contracting coronavirus or passing it on to your loved ones. Although there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through the water, there are risks involved in our favorite ways to cool down. So here is a breakdown of water activities that might be the best option for you and your family during the COVID-19 pandemic. The riskiest place for water activities is a public pool. Although all public pools have taken steps to encourage social distancing, they involve activates outside the pool. In the pool there’s a decent chance you’ll end up touching each other or at least yelling and breathing on each other. As for toys, diving boards, and ladders, the more people that touch them, the more likely they are to encounter something infectious. One solution to this dilemma is heading to a more private pool, like one that might be in a friend’s backyard. But that’s not a perfect plan, either. If you haven’t already included this friend in your COVID-19 social bubble, you’d be putting yourself and them at risk if you go about pool play as usual. If you do go to the pool, be it public or private, make sure you’re wearing a mask when you’re not swimming (especially in the locker room), keep hand sanitizer on you, and stay a safe six feet away from swimmers outside of your household. Less risky but still a risk is a beach trip. There should be lots of opportunities to social distance. However most beaches are not limiting the number of beachgoers which can make social distancing difficult. As for equipment rentals, like a paddleboard or snorkeling gear, save your curiosity for next summer. You don’t really know how well it’s being cleaned, which makes it a potential hotbed for COVID-19 transmission. Bring your own personal stuff if you’re dead set on going surfing or exploring and disinfect it thoroughly before using it. Risky but a bit safer is a boat trip. If it’s just you and your household and you are able to avoid crowded sandbars and beaches. However if you are introducing people not already associated in your social bubble, you run the risk of catching or passing along COVID-19. Limit the number of people you invite and ask questions about their health to protect you and your family's health.

SOURCE: Popular Science

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