On Your Health

Check back to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog for the latest health and wellness news for all Oklahomans.

Questions About COVID-19?

Is It Safe to Take Your Kids to the Pool This Summer?

With summer in full swing, many residents want to know if it’s safe to visit public and community pools. 

Under Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s “Open Up and Recover Safely” plan, gyms, swimming schools and similar places were cleared to reopen May 1 if they followed sanitation and disinfecting recommendations.

The good news is that swimming appears to be a safe activity. According to the CDC, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through the water. The CDC’s website says, “Proper operation and disinfection of pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds (with chlorine or bromine) should kill the virus that causes COVID-19.” However, the CDC still recommends that you limit close contact with people outside your home in public spaces, both in and out of the water. The CDC also provides a comprehensive plan so that public pools and water park operators can keep their places safe from COVID-19.

Are OKC metro area pools open?

Oklahoma City has also released guidelines on the use of public pools. The Oklahoma City County Health Department has said all pools may reopen when they are ready, with social distancing and increased cleaning and sanitation measures in place, in accordance with the reopening phases outlined by the Governor’s orders. The OCCHD says pools and spas that are privately owned and that offer swim lessons are expected to resume in July.

See below for information pertaining to some local pools and spas.

  • Due to COVID-19, all Family Aquatic Facilities and community pools will open on July 1. OKC Parks has two family aquatic centers, two outdoor community pools and 17 spraygrounds.  
  • The city of Norman’s Westwood Family Aquatic Center opened on May 29 at 50% capacity and is now running at full capacity.
  • Oklahoma City YMCA locations will limit the pools to only lap swims with one swimmer per lane, group exercise classes with a 6-foot radius between participants and water walking. The hot tubs will not reopen at this time.
  • Deer Creek Village Community Pool opened May 30. If compliance with community pool rules and restrictions are infeasible or cannot be achieved due to lack of cooperation by Deer Creek Village residents or other issues, the pool will be closed indefinitely or until compliance can be achieved and maintained. Only 50% of the normal bathing load (45 people) is allowed in the pool area at any time. 
  • The Eagle Harbor Aquatic Center in Del City opened on June 12. No swimming lessons are offered right now. 
  • The Reno Swim and Slide Pool in Midwest City is open with COVID-19 safety measures in place, including additional sanitation protocols to high-touch points such as handrails, chairs and restrooms. The capacity is limited to 350.
  • Yukon has two aquatic centers along with a splash pad. The City Splash pool, located in City Park, and Kimbell Bay pool, located at Kimbell Park, and the splash pad at Sunrise Park opened on May 25.
  • The Mustang Aquatic Center opened June 1 with additional sanitation and restrictions in place.
  • The Station Aquatic Center in Moore opened June 1. The Station Aquatic Center reduced the number of deck chairs and number of tubes for ease of sanitation, will require safety breaks for 10 minutes every hour to sanitize the pool area, will require masks to be worn by staff and will monitor pool chemicals to make sure they are at the proper levels throughout the day.
  • Hurricane Harbor will open June 19 with restricted attendance and sanitation measures in place. Following local and regional COVID-19 health directives, it will open fully as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Stay safe at the pool

According to the CDC guidelines, you should reduce person-to-person contact even at the pool. Practice the following guidelines.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds each time. If soap is not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face (particularly your eyes, nose and mouth) with unwashed hands.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others, especially if you’re at a higher risk of infection.
  • Stay home if you’re sick. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands.
  • Wear a face mask.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes doorknobs, tables, countertops, handles, light switches, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, and any other high-traffic surfaces. Rubbing alcohol, diluted bleach, and hydrogen peroxide can all disinfect surfaces.

By maintaining a 6-foot social distance and by following proper handwashing and sanitation procedures, families should be able to enjoy swimming at public pools this summer. Again, if you are in a high-risk group or are showing any symptoms of illness, stay home and contact your trusted INTEGRIS health care professionals.

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