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Can coronavirus spread in swimming pools? Here’s what you need to know

The CDC says, "proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water."

HOUSTON — Temperatures are beginning to heat up in Texas meaning everyone is looking for ways to cool off.

Usually, that means jumping into your local swimming pool and heading out for a day at your favorite waterpark. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has people asking if the virus can spread in places like swimming pools, hot tubs or water park features.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, “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.”

The CDC said, "proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water."

Even though the water itself may be safe, CDC officials say swimmers should continue to "protect themselves and others at recreational water venues both in and out of the water – for example, by practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene."

Swimming pools in Texas were allowed to open on May 8 but must follow the following guidelines:

  • Indoor swimming pools may operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the pool facility
  • Outdoor swimming pools may operate at up to 25 percent of normal operating limits as determined by the pool operator
  • Local public swimming pools may so operate only if permitted by the local government

Grand Texas Big Rivers Waterpark

The waterpark in New Caney will reopen for the summer season on Saturday, May 23 but will limit its capacity for guests to 2,020 to ensure people can have a comfortable experience.

When guests visit the facility:

  • They are welcome to wear a mask, but they are not required to
  • No outside food or drink is allowed with exceptions for special dietary needs
  • All the frontline staff are required to wear a mask
  • There are hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility
  • They are limiting the capacity of their restaurant to 150 at a time, but tables and loungers will be spaced out

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown

Hurricane Harbor Splashtown in Spring is temporarily closed.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Galveston

Waterpark is temporarily closed. They say they will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.

Palm Beach Moody Gardens in Galveston

The hotel and attractions will open at Moody Gardens on May 22, but the Palm Beach will remain closed for now.

The Discovery Museum, Ropes Course and Zip Line will remain closed as those exhibits have been deemed to be potential high-touch zones.

Pirates Bay in Baytown

The city of Baytown has not set an opening date for the facility.

City of Houston

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic operations of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department pools and water spraygrounds are closed until further notice.

*Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referenced Typhoon Texas as opening on Memorial Day. The water park says they "look forward to announcing the water park’s plans as soon as Governor Abbott issues guidelines."


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