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Social distancing jumps to the pool in yellow phase

Relaxed restrictions during the Yellow Phase permit group swimming, with social distancing guidelines in place. Photo: Utah Department of Health

SALT LAKE CITY — Normally, no one would use the words “yellow” and “pool” in the same sentence. But here we are, with most of the state in yellow. 

According to the Salt Lake County Department of Health, group swimming is a go, now that most of the state is transitioning from “orange” to yellow in its coronavirus risk assessment. 

“But it’s not going to be a free-for-all,” said Teresa Gray, Water Quality Manager for the Health Department.  “Social distancing is required both in AND out of the pool, and hand washing and showers before getting in is strongly encouraged.” 

Distancing won’t be required for those in the same household. Gray says monitoring social distancing is not going to be on lifeguards, that pool managers would like to have an additional staff doing that while walking around.

“And individuals are going to have to be responsible for themselves,” Gray added.

Gray said that some pools might not open when they normally do. This is due to staffing issues or the inability to keep employees and the public safe. The rules apply not only to municipal pools but also Home Owners Associations, condos, apartment complexes, hotels, and motels.

Gray says there is no proof that standard pool water can transmit the virus.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States