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Problem Solvers Coronavirus Hotline: Social distancing over the holiday

Posted at 6:05 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 19:05:26-04

When you think of Memorial Day weekend, you think of crowds of people out on the lake and dozens of kids in a swimming pool. But with COVID-19 still out there, how is that possible?

For the question, “How do you practice social distancing on Memorial Day weekend?” Dr. Dale Bratzler from OU Medicine said, “You’re safer outdoors than you are indoors. But still try not to congregate in large groups because the virus can still be transmitted... Certainly if you’re going to be in a public place where there are a lot of people, I would still recommend wearing a mask. Remember, wearing a mask protects those people who are around you. It doesn’t necessarily protect you.”

What about swimming pools? Are they safe?

Dr. Bratzler said, “In general, the CDC has reported that COVID-19 is not common in things like swimming pools. If the swimming pool is properly maintained, if it has appropriate chlorine and bromine levels in the water, then that will disrupt the virus and you won’t see transmission in the water. It’s not being in the water that would put you at risk; it’s being in a pool with a lot of people being close, particularly if somebody was ill, coughing or sneezing in the pool.”

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