Coronavirus / (COVID-19) and Large Bodies of Water
Previously we covered all the information about, swimming in a local pool and using an aquatic center, and proper precautions and information relating to Covid-19. Now we are going to talk some about swimming in a large body of water such as lakes, rivers, and beaches.
Keep in mind, while is the latest understanding of the virus and how it may affect you, it is always recommended to check out the CDC’s website and see if any unknown information about the virus has been found in relation to any activities you plan on doing.
Can Covid-19 Spread In a Lake or on the Beach?
According toe Andrew Janowksi, the infectious diseases physician at Washington University, you should not be infected by the virus as long as you are following proper social distancing recommendations.
What are the social distancing recommendations?
This would be to keep at least 6 feet from other people in the water. A person infected with the virus will have their secretions diluted in water to the point that it would be extremely unlikely to infect someone else if they are at least 6 feet away.
What about boating with friends?
Unless you live with these people, social distancing should be applied. The goal is to slow down the spread of Covid-19 so it will eventually die off completely, or a cure for the virus will be found. Spending time with others will help spread the disease. So you should avoid boating and other aquatic activities with people you do not live with.
Should I wear a mask in the water?
If you are in a shallow body of water a mask would be preferred, such as walking on the edge of the beach, or through a shallow stream. If you are in water higher, than that a mask is not recommended, as it can become a safety hazard if you need a swim. Even a knee deep current in the ocean can pull you suddenly out to sea and a mask could be fatal.
Should I use public bathrooms?
Even though the latest information on Covid-19 states the virus does not live as long as previously thought on surfaces. It is still not recommended to use any public bathrooms if you can. If you must use one, make sure to wear a face mask, have access to soap with hot water, and use towels instead of a hand dryer. Also as always a six foot social distancing policy is the best policy.
Other useful aquatic tips:
- Bring your own towels and chairs, using public ones can increase your chances of infection.
- Do not let children share toys with other children
- Do not share drinks or food
- Wash your hands often when touching anything others may have touched.
- Bring hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes to clean your hands or surfaces that other people may have touched
- Keep a 6 foot distance from others
While taking these extra steps to protect yourself from Covid-19 may seem like a chore, in the long run it will make the lives of yourself and those around much safer.
Original Article – CDC Website