For instance, it was reported how, in addition to cancelling its Olympic swimming trials meet slated for 2020, Italy itself became the first nation to place its entire territory under quarantine in an effort to contain the virus.

Questions abound about how COVID-19 is spread, how it can be treated and what one’s risk is in different situations.

A point of positivity from a swimmer’s perspective at least is that Ireland’s Health Service Executive, essentially the equivalent of the Department of Health & Human Services in the United States, confirms that coronavirus cannot be transmitted in drinking water and swimming pools, provided these mediums are properly chlorinated.

Per Ireland’s Health Protection Surveillance Center, the following detailed specifics are minimally required to sufficiently inactivate COVID-19 virus in chlorinated drinking water and swimming pools:

  • For Drinking Water chlorination, ‘current recommendations’ is taken to mean a Ct value of at least 15 mg.min/liter (for example exposure to 0.5 mg/l free chlorine for at least 30 minutes).
  • For Swimming Pool chlorination, operating to ‘current recommendations / best practice’ means maintenance of a free chlorine residual of at least 1.0 mg/l (depending on pool type and disinfectant used).

Important to note is that, in the absence of data on this newly identified SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), the aforementioned is based on what is known about severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV or SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV or MERS), which caused the two previous Coronavirus outbreaks. This new strain is in the same coronavirus family as MERS and SARS.