Updated: Jan 7, 2022
What we need to know, the magic of chlorine, the beauty of the great outdoors and how we enjoy Pool Aerobics safely during a pandemic.
"Is Pool Aerobics safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic?"
I have added this to my list of FAQs (frequently asked questions) since Jamaica confirmed its first COVID-19 case on March 10, 2020. The answer is YES! Now let's get into why it's safe and how we can continue to enjoy Pool Aerobics safely.
What we need to know
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 is mainly transmitted from person to person via respiratory droplets released from the mouth or nose. The infection spreads when a person with the virus coughs, sneezes, or exhales, and someone else breathes in these droplets.
High-contact surfaces such as door handles and handrails may also be a potential source of transmission for COVID-19.
Water cannot transmit COVID-19. That is, you cannot get COVID-19 through water. However, it is very important to maintain physical distancing in the pool, on the pool deck and in the changing rooms.
The magic of chlorine
Chlorine is the chemical used to keep the outdoor swimming pools I operate from free from bacteria and viruses which may be hazardous to humans.
Chlorine kills these microorganisms by attacking their cell walls and destroying them, leaving them harmless.
Virologists at Imperial College London concluded research in April 2021 which confirmed that chlorinated water, with a residue of free available chlorine of 1.5 milligrams per litre and pH value within the range of 7.0 to 7.2, rendered the COVID-19 virus inactive in as little as 30 seconds. This means that even if someone has the virus and they release respiratory droplets from their mouth or nose, the virus is destroyed by the chlorinated pool water.
As per the Public Health (Swimming Pools) Regulations within the Public Health Act of the Ministry of Health of Jamaica public swimming pool water must be treated with chlorine, a chlorine compound or a bromine compound, and the bacteriology of the water must be checked monthly. All pools I use for group sessions are randomly assessed by the Ministry of Health of Jamaica.
The beauty of the great outdoors
All pools I use for group sessions are outdoor pools, which present the fewest risks for COVID-19 transmission.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states COVID-19 spreads more easily indoors than outdoors as there is continuous air-exchanges due to the prevailing winds. Fresh air disperses and dilutes the virus and helps to evaporate the liquid droplets in which it is carried. Studies show that people are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 when they are closer than 6 feet apart from others for longer periods of time.
Enjoy Pool Aerobics safely during a pandemic
Do not come to the pool if you are having COVID-19 symptoms.
Wear a mask to and from the pool. Consider carrying two masks in case one gets wet. Do not use a mask during class. When the mask is wet it becomes difficult to breath and the mask is less effective.
Try to arrive at the pool already changed to minimise time spent in the changing room. Once you have finished class, leave. Shower at home pre and post swimming. If you are using the changing rooms, observe physical distancing at all times and use soap and hand sanitizer provided.
4. Pre-book your spot in class to enable physical distancing while in the pool. Practice maintaining at least 6 feet apart on the pool deck.
5. I sanitize chairs, handles, railings and equipment prior to your arrival however please feel free to use the hand sanitizer provided or to carry your own.
6. The easiest way to enjoy Pool
Aerobics and reduce the majority
of COVID-19 risks is to get fully
vaccinated before doing so. All Pool Aerobics with Kim class participants over 16 years of age must be vaccinated.
See you by the pool!