Can You Get Coronavirus From A Hot Tub?
We have been receiving numerous inquiries recently regarding the possibility of catching the Coronavirus from water in a hot tub. So, can you really get Coronavirus from a hot tub? The short answer is NO, you cannot get the Coronavirus from properly sanitized hot tub water (most commonly sanitized by the use of chlorine and/or bromine).
The new CDC report states that “There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19”.
There are a few concerns you should be aware of when using a public or shared hot tub with people who may have been infected with the virus. Of course, you could still get infected from infected people using the tub with you – if they are coughing or sneezing on you. Just like the flu or the common cold, Coronavirus is an airborne transmitted disease. However it cannot survive in chlorinated or brominated water – period. In other words, the water in the hot tub will not harbor the virus; it will kill it.
So it is important to understand that hot tub water, in and of itself, would not transmit Coronavirus provided that it is properly sanitized. Chlorine and/or bromine is extremely effective in killing the virus. In facilities where they are handling Coronavirus patients or quarantined people who may have contracted the virus, they frequently use chlorine bleach to wipe down and clean areas to ensure the virus has been killed.
That being said, remember that Coronavirus is transmitted by people coughing or sneezing (airborne virus) as well as from other bodily fluids that may be on towels or other moist things an infected person may have used or touched. This has become very evident from all of the cruise ship infections people have contracted. Bear in mind that being in or around a hot tub is a very humid, moist environment. This will reduce the airborne spread of the virus to a great extent – compared to just being in a dry room with sneezing people. But it will not completely stop possible transmission. Not only with the Coronavirus, but also with cold or flu as well.
So the actual water of the hot tub could be as sanitary as possible, but if other people in the tub with you are coughing up a storm and sneezing into their towels, this would certainly be of concern. And should be something to avoid. Again – airborne viruses in hot, humid, contained environments will not spread out as quickly as in dry, cooler environments, but they still can spread.
If you have a private, home hot tub, where you are familiar with your family members or guests who are using the tub, properly sanitized hot tub water alone will not transmit Coronavirus. But if you do think that someone may have brought the virus into your hot tub area for some reason, simply super shocking the tub water and wiping down the surrounding areas with bleach will definitely kill any residual virus contaminants.
If you are thinking about using a public hot tub, ask the staff to make certain that the tub is being sanitized properly with chlorine or bromine. Also keep an eye on the other people who may be in the tub with you. Try to keep your distance – and if any of them seem symptomatic, you may want to leave the tub and have your soak another time!
Quick Tips For Recommended Water Sanitizer Chemical Levels In Swimming Pools And Hot Tubs During Coronavirus Outbreak
1- In publicly accessible (public) swimming pools, we would recommend running the chlorine levels at a slightly higher rate – between 3.0 ppm and 3.5 ppm – just to be safe. Shocking the swimming pool on a daily basis, or as necessary, is always a good idea, regardless of Coronavirus.
2- In private (homeowner) swimming pools, the standard recommended chlorine levels are still fine (1.5 ppm – 3.0 ppm). Shocking the swimming pool weekly, or after a party or gathering is always a good idea, regardless of Coronavirus.
3- In publicly accessible (public) hot tubs, we would recommend the use of chlorine, in addition to bromine, ozone or other hot tub sanitizers – just to be safe. Shocking the hot tub on a daily basis, or as necessary, is always a good idea, regardless of Coronavirus. We would recommend running the chlorine / bromine levels at a slightly higher rate – between 3.0 ppm and 3.5 ppm – just to be safe.
4- In private (homeowner) hot tubs, we would recommend the use of chlorine, in addition to bromine, ozone or other hot tub sanitizers – just to be safe. Shocking the hot tub before or after use, is a good idea. Especially if non-family/friends have used, or will be using, the hot tub. The standard recommended chlorine / bromine levels are still fine (1.5 ppm – 3.0 ppm).
Again, the odds of catching the Coronavirus from a pool or hot tub are very low. Luckily – pools and hot tubs normally have a residual level of chlorine or bromine in them, so they are actually one of the most unlikely places where you could possibly catch the Coronavirus. But “better safe than sorry”, as they say!
Article published by poolandspanews.com
Reference sources used for this article:
Center For Disease Control Report: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html
World Health Organization Report: https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/environmentalhealthguidance/Advice%20note%20to%20EHS%20on%20Coronavirus%20and%20Drinking%20%20Water%20and%20Swimming%20Pools_V3.pdf
Water Environment Federation Report: https://www.wef.org/news-hub/wef-news/the-water-professionals-guide-to-the-2019-novel-coronavirus/
Infection Control Today Report: https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/environmental-services/select-effective-disinfectants-use-against-novel-virus-covid-19