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VACCINE Q&A: Is it safe to use indoor pools or locker rooms?

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 6:00 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The NBC15 Vaccine Team is answering your questions about reintegrating “normal” activities after getting the vaccine. You can find a full list of NBC15 Vaccine Team Q&A’s HERE.

CLICK HERE to submit your own question.

QUESTION:

Once I’m vaccinated will it be safe to use indoor swimming facilities? I’m sure the pool is fine due to chlorine, but what about the room itself which is consistently moist and laden with water particles? To that end, what about locker room facilities?

Tara

ANSWER:

Dr. Alison Schwartz, an Infectious Disease Specialist with SSM Health, said being in the pool itself is not so much a concern as being in an enclosed room.

“You may be vaccinated and protected, but we don’t know who the rest of the population in that setting is,” said Dr. Schwartz. However, Dr. Schwartz said if proper COVID precautions are in place in the pool area and it has adequate ventilation, then she feels it is safe.

“If you’re the only one using the pool or there’s appropriate distancing and it’s a huge area and they’re limiting the number of people that may be a safer situation. Or, you know, if you are going with one other family and you know that those people are vaccinated too,” said Dr. Schwartz. The CDC says you should not wear a mask while you are in water. A wet mask can make it difficult to breathe and likely will not work correctly.

When inside a locker room, Dr. Schwartz said it is especially important to make sure COVID precautions are being closely followed.

“Many of the outbreaks, say at schools, that have occurred up to this point have been in locker room settings and so I do have some hesitancy about the locker room. Just sort of being in there in close quarters with many people. Obviously, if it’s set up wherever you’re going that people can mask and distance, then it would be an appropriate activity to reengage in,” told Dr. Schwartz.

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