The following guidance highlights steps operators of public treated aquatic venues can take to help protect their staff and patrons, both in and out of the water, and prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Public treated aquatic venues can be operated by:

  • Apartment complexes
  • Homeowners’ associations
  • Hotels and motels
  • Membership clubs (for example, gyms)
  • Schools
  • Waterparks
  • City or county governments

Operators of public treated aquatic venues can determine, in collaboration with local health officials, if and how to implement this guidance, making adjustments to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. This guidance is meant to supplement—not replace—any local, state, territorial, federal, or tribal laws, rules, or regulations with which operators must comply.

Know how the virus spreads to prevent the spread

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, most commonly spreads from person-to-person by respiratory droplets during close physical contact (within 6 feet or a few inches longer than a typical pool noodle, both in and out of the water).

The virus can sometimes spread from person-to-person by small droplets or virus particles that linger in the air for minutes to hours. This can happen most easily in enclosed spaces with inadequate ventilation. In general, being outdoors and in spaces with good ventilation reduces the risk of exposure to infectious respiratory droplets. Infected people with or without symptoms can spread the virus. The virus spreads less commonly when a person touches an object or surface that has the virus on it and then touches his or her mouth, nose, or eyes.

Fortunately, there are several actions pool, hot tubs, and water playground operators can take to help lower the risk of spreading the virus among persons at aquatic venues.

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