Tread lightly: What swimming might look like this summer

Posted at 11:42 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-30 10:03:20-04

ALDEN, N.Y. (WKBW) — Unless you have a pool at home, it's likely that your goggles and towels have stayed stored away so far this year. Public pools face the difficult reality of large crowds, a lack of staff, and an indefinite timetable.

Such factors played a role in Veterans Park Pool being closed for the entire summer by the Town of West Seneca. But an expert from UB says being in the water isn't the problem.

"The act of swimming per se, regardless of where it is, should be very safe," UB's chief of infectious disease Dr. Thomas Russo said. "The risk, of course, is individuals around you."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 does not travel or spread through water. However, social distancing between individuals in the water is still a must.

Some families have taken it upon themselves to bring swimming to their homes. Pool and leisure stores have seen a splash of new business as summer quickly approaches.

"Any backyard recreation product is very popular right now," Alden Pools & Play co-owner Josh Hirtzel said. "Especially with any vacation or travel plans, any uncertainty, and kids being stuck at home."

Hirtzel also recommends maintaing sanitizer levels in home pools to ensure that COVID-19 and other diseases cannot spread.