Are pools safe during COVID-19 pandemic?


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While Sioux Falls public schools are closed for the summer due to the pandemic, other area swimming pools are open for business.

If you’re looking for a place to cool down this summer the Midco Aquatic Center is open for swimmers, doing so in a safety phased approach.

John Zumhofe is glad the pool is open, swimming here about three days a week.

“Yeah I went for probably two and a half months without swimming at all. And then I started swimming at Wall lake, and then that got really green. So it’s really been nice to be able to come to a pool and swim,” Zumhofe said.

That’s especially true as options are limited in Sioux Falls this summer, with Sioux Falls public pools closed. But is it safe to get in the pool during the COVID-19 pandemic?

“Being in the water, there’s… you know the virus isn’t going to spread in the water. So when people are swimming they are pretty safe in that environment,” Jean Pearson said.

Medical experts at the Cleveland Clinic say picking up the virus from being in a pool is extremely unlikely, and instead say being around groups of people or touching surfaces and then your face is cause for concern.

That’s why Jean Pearson says staff is cleaning around the clock and certain areas are open by reservation only– and that’s not all.

“Our locker rooms are not available. So we encourage everybody to come in their swimsuit because finding places for people to change into their swimsuit is very difficult right now with the phase that we’re currently in,” Pearson said.

Masks aren’t required when you enter the building but they are recommended. All area staff will be wearing a mask aside from any lifeguards on duty.

While it hasn’t been easy making these changes, she says it’s all for people’s safety– and swimmers have been very understanding.

“It’s a really great place to swim, they do a good job of keeping it sanitized,” Zumhofe said.

To see the most recent updates on the Midco Aquatic Center’s phased opening, click here.

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