What Summer Activities Are Safe for Families Amid the Pandemic?


(WWL) — Summer activities are here and ramping up as many people look to enjoy fun activities outdoors such as swimming, hiking and camping.

But, do these summer activities pose a risk of spreading the coronavirus?

“Camping by itself is great, very low risk. Fishing, is low risk, barbequing is low risk. What is risky or some element of risk is what you have to do to prepare to get there,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, Assistant State Health Officer and Region One Medical Director of the Louisiana Department of Health.

“Stopping at a gas station, and going shopping, anytime you go into a business that is a potential exposure," Kanter says. "Not to say you shouldn’t do it, I just think folks need to take precautions.”

One popular summer activity is swimming. Some NORD-C public pools are now open.

Could swimming in a swimming pool be high risk for spreading COVID-19?

“We don’t think the virus is going to spread very easily through the water,” Dr. Kanter said. “Again whether its salt water or chlorine bath neither is very conducive to the virus living very long. So, I don’t think there is much of a risk of, I’m in the water and you are 20 feet away and you are going to get it from me because it is going to swim over there so to say.”

Dr. Kanter echoes what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says about being in close contact with people in a large group, whether in the water or not, is more of a risk of spreading the virus.

The CDC says there is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus can be spread to people through water of any kind, including ocean water and chlorinated pool water.

Here are some CDC guide lines for swimming in public pools.

—Everyone should follow state, local, territorial, or tribal guidance that might determine when and how public pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds may operate and might include CDC considerations.
—Individuals should continue to protect themselves and others at public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds, both in and out of the water – for example, by staying at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with and wearing cloth face covers when not in the water.
—In addition to ensuring water quality and safety, operators of public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds should follow guidance on cleaning and disinfecting community facilities.

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