ARLINGTON, Texas — Changes to the Texas COVID-19 guidelines will allow some swimming pools to reopen Friday.
Here are five things you need to know before taking the plunge:
1. Coronavirus doesn’t appear to spread through pool water
There is no evidence the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through water in pools, hot tubs, spas or play areas, according to the CDC.
2. Chlorine can inactivate the virus
Proper pool maintenance, including regular disinfection with chemicals like chlorine and bromine, should inactivate the virus in the water, according to the CDC.
3. Getting too close is still a concern.
Just because the CDC believes proper maintenance can inactivate the coronavirus, doesn’t mean you can’t still get infected. Getting too close to people above the surface or socializing too closely poolside can still lead to infection. The CDC recommends practicing social distancing and washing your hands regularly.
4. Not all pools will open right away
Changes to Governor Gregg Abbott’s executive order permit public pools to reopen, but requires them to follow the guidelines of local governments.
For example, community pools in Arlington and Fort Worth usually don’t open until Memorial Day.
City of Dallas community pools were scheduled to open June 1, but the Dallas Aquatic website warns visitors that will likely be delayed.
Bedford and Hurst announced their aquatic centers would not open at all during the summer 2020 season.
5. Hotel and apartment pools may open with social distancing
The new guidelines don’t say much about private pools like the ones in hotels, subdivisions and apartments, other than guests must be limited to 25% of the normal operating limits as determined by the pool operator.
Collin County will begin inspecting pools Friday, and requires a plan to reopen, which includes a sanitation schedule and details on how operators will monitor and adhere to capacity rules and social distancing requirements.