As the Coronavirus continues to make headlines around the world, many pool owners may have some questions about the relationship between the virus and their swimming pool or hot tub. 

The most frequent questions we have heard include: 
Can you get Coronavirus from a swimming pool? 
Does the Coronavirus live in water? 

Let us answer those questions and more…

Can the Coronavirus spread through swimming pools or hot tubs?

According to the CDC:

There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.

To ensure that your pool and hot tub are being properly maintained you should: 

  • Check that your swimming pool and hot tub are running properly and that they are being used the way they were intended to be used
  • Stay on top of your swimming pool and hot tub’s maintenance and cleaning schedule
  • Most importantly, make sure that you have the correct amount of sanitizer in the water

Is it safe to swim or soak? 

Yes, as long as your swimming pool and hot tub are properly chlorinated. 

Your chlorine levels should be between 1 part per million (ppm) and 3 ppm, with 3 ppm being ideal. In order to ensure this, you must frequently test your pool’s water. 

However, if you are sick, stay out of the pool and hot tub and get some rest. The same thing applies to any of your family members. While chlorine may eliminate the Coronavirus in water, it will not cure you and it can still be transmitted on surfaces around the pool, such as ladders or the side of a hot tub. 

In addition, since COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, it would be unwise to soak in a hot tub if you are feeling sick as that can put even more strain on your respiratory system.

Should extra sanitizer be used?

You do not need to use extra sanitizer in your swimming pool or hot tub. The important thing to do is to keep your sanitizer levels within the recommended range – preferably, towards the high end of the range. If you add too much sanitizer, you risk causing skin and eye irritation. 

Should you shock your pool or hot tub?

While it won’t necessarily make a difference when it comes to the virus, it is always a good idea to regularly shock your swimming pool and hot tub. Consider doing this weekly if you plan on keeping your pool and hot tub open for the duration of the pandemic. 

Shocking your pool and hot tub regularly helps you:

  • Eliminate chloramines and bromamines
  • Kill bacteria
  • Remover organic contaminants

What other safety precautions should pool and hot tub owners take?

Along with regularly shocking your swimming pool and hot tub you should also regularly disinfect the surfaces surrounding your pool and hot tub. At least once per week you should clean all surfaces not submerged in sanitized water with a diluted bleach solution. 

For more information about the associated risks and the ways you can prevent the Coronavirus, visit the dedicated Government of Canada webpage. Stay healthy and safe!