HARRISBURG, PA — The Department of Health is urging all Pennsylvanians to practice social distancing, wear masks and be aware of pool safety concerns as Pennsylvanians enjoy the summer days outside. Face masks should not be worn in the water as a wet face covering may make it difficult to breathe.
“If you are at a private or public pool with other people outside of your household, it is important to continue to practice social distancing and to wear masks to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Face masks should not be worn in the water as a wet face covering may make it difficult to breathe. In addition to the threat of COVID-19, Pennsylvanians need to take the proper steps to ensure they have a safe and fun time at the pool.”
It is important to take the following precautions before going to the pool:
- Have a responsible adult watch young children playing in or around water (in addition to lifeguards);
- Use the buddy system (never swim alone);
- Learn to swim;
- Learn CPR;
- Locate the lifesaving equipment before entering the pool;
- Have a phone by the pool and know who to contact in an emergency;
- Never enter water that is cloudy;
- Know your role in preventing recreational water illnesses; and
- Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming.
Public pools were permitted to reopen in the yellow and green phases of the Governor’s phased-in reopening plan, provided they follow CDC guidance.
On July 1, 2020, the Secretary of Health mandated masks to be worn in all public places. While at public pools, Pennsylvanians should continue to use cloth face coverings as feasible. Face masks should not be worn in the water as a wet face covering may make it difficult to breathe. For activities in the water, like swimming, it is particularly important to maintain physical distance from others. For more information about the mask guidance order, visit here.
In addition to pool safety, Pennsylvanians need to remember to wear sunscreen and take precautions to protect themselves in extreme summer weather. Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher with broad spectrum coverage can help protect the skin from dangerous sunburns and decrease the chances of developing serious sun-exposure-related health conditions. For more information about sunscreen and heat safety, visit here.
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