Is it safe to swim in a pool as the COVID pandemic eases?

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LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 25: A child plays in a backyard pool on August 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – With temperatures rising and summer on the horizon, many are eager to break out their swimsuits and hit the pool. But is it safe?

According to Dr. Richard Kennedy, an infectious disease expert at Mayo Clinic, “The devil’s in the details.”

Kennedy says it’s possible to swim at a pool without contracting COVID-19, but there are some things you should be conscious of: How many people are around you? How closely are you interacting with them?

There are a few things that are “working in your favor,” according to Kennedy. For one, pools are typically outside, which limits the spread of COVID-19. It will also, presumably, be hot when you’re swimming, which also limits the transmission of coronavirus.

Also, there’s typically fewer cases of COVID-19 during summer, so “you’re less likely to run into an infected person,” Kennedy said.

But there are a few things working against you, as well. Typically, younger people are at the pool, and only children ages 12 and up are currently able to be vaccinated. Younger people also typically show fewer COVID-19 symptoms if they are infected, which means they could be swimming and infected without their knowledge.

Lastly, at the pool, there’s lots of yelling and laughing, which can spew a greater amount of viral particles into the air.

“Overall, I’d say there’s no such thing as perfectly safe,” Kennedy said. “There is a level of risk. People will have to decide for themselves if they’re comfortable with it.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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