3-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer discusses concerns about COVID-19 in pools

Local News

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — A recent survey found that 70 percent of American’s are planning to take a swim this summer, up from 52 percent last year, but that is leading to some concerns about COVID-19 at public pools.

“There is no evidence that COVID spreads in pool water,” said Rowdy Gaines. “In fact, it’s just the opposite. This is the CDC, this isn’t me saying this. Properly chlorinated water actually kills the virus.”

Three-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Gaines has spent his life around the water and he says there are bigger threats at the pool than catching the coronavirus.

“As the weather starts to warm we’re going to see a surge in accidental drownings,” said Gaines.  “That’s a much bigger cause to me for even COVID to tell you the truth.”

Gaines says simply enrolling your child in swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent.

At a time when many public pools are facing lifeguard shortages, Gaines believes there should always be at least one line of defense.

“The parent has to have the eye on the child 100 percent of the time even if they’re in a situation where there are lifeguards,” said Gaines. “Lifeguards to me are backups for parents.”

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