Is it okay to invite friends over for a pool party at your house?

Here are the factors to consider, according to Dr. Keri Althoff, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

First, the pool itself is not a concern. Dr. Althoff, plus the dean of the Yale School of Public Health, and the CDC all agree that transmission of COVID-19 through pool water is highly unlikely. There is no evidence that the virus can be spread to people through the water in pools. That’s because water treatments like chlorine, bromine, and salt water pool treatments inactivate the virus.

Plus, the water allows for a greater diffusion of potentially harmful droplets.

So if the pool isn’t a problem, what is? Pretty much everything else. Like the potential for transmission from person-to-person while you’re lying next to each other in the sun. There’s also a possible risk from surface transmission - like if you both touch the same tables and chairs, or use the same bathroom.

So, if you’re going to invite friends over to enjoy your pool, have them BYO… Bring their own food, drinks, pool toys, towels - even portable deck chairs! And Dr. Althoff says to think ahead before inviting people over, particularly if you know you'll be seeing elderly or immune-compromised friends and family in the next two weeks.