DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH County of Riverside
INFORMATIONAL BULLETIN NO. 145-20-DES
District Environmental Services
POOL USE AND COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Safe water, sanitation, and hygiene are essential to protecting human health during disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and spas; however, maintaining good chlorine levels in our home and community pools may further help to prevent its spread. Proper operation and maintenance of pools and spas should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.
The elderly and those who are immuno-compromised are more susceptible to getting very sick from this illness, so it is important to properly clean and sanitize all handrails, showers, drinking fountains, restrooms, and any other high-touch surfaces in and around your pool area (e.g. tables, chairs, handrails, doorknobs from gates, dirty towel hampers) with an EPA approved disinfectant, such as Clorox or Lysol.
It is also important to wash items like towels in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Clean and disinfect the towel hampers as well. Consider using a bag liner that can either be thrown away or laundered.
Maintaining proper pool chemistry is key to killing all viruses that may be present in the pool water. Check the pool chemistry frequently and make sure the free chlorine residual is within the ranges below, to ensure proper disinfection.
Pools 1-10 PPM (parts per million) Spas, Wading Pools, and Spray Grounds 3-10 PPM (parts per million)
As always, take everyday precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose,coughing, sneezing, or having been in or touched surfaces in a public place.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- To the extent possible, avoid contacting high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
- Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of high-touch surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and cell phones)
- Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID- 19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.