Health officials urge caution as pools prepare to open, temperatures rise

Health officials urge caution as pools prepare to open, temperatures rise
(Source: WALB)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Summer-like temperatures are coming, and some pools will start to open up.

Public pools will be allowed to reopen May 13, according to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s order. The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is backing his decision. However, officials are asking you to not get into swimming pools with large groups right now. They advise that you continue to practice social distancing.

The Department of Public Health still recommends that everyone stay six feet apart.

Clay Poole, the district environmental health director for DPH, said COVID-19 cannot survive in saltwater or chlorine pools.

“Those are both disinfectant pools and the chlorine levels, if they’re maintained properly, can kill the virus. We do not have evidence at this time of water transmitting the virus in a chemically treated swimming pool,“ said Poole.

If you do plan to make a splash in your backyard pool, local leaders said you need to know how to swim. If you don’t, you should have someone who does keep an eye on you.

“Somebody at the house needs to know how to swim if the kids are going to be in the water because anything can go wrong. If parents don’t know how to swim and your kids are there in a panic situation then what’s gonna happen?" asked Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler.

Fowler said you should always swim with a buddy. He said there have already been two drownings so far this year in Dougherty County and both incidents involved adults.

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