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Thread: Nationals and Coronavirus.

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Nationals and Coronavirus.

    Austin just canceled SXSW. Is it safe to think Nationals will go on as planned. Is it safe to do so. I really want to go to Nationals, but I am 71 and concerned.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
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    Very Active Member Sojerz's Avatar
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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    This is a good question with broader implications too. On the one hand, swimming is a water sport and water is where the virus survives. On the other hand chlorine is very effective at killing it. Because of my age (70), I've been wondering whether and how long to keep going to the pool? I'm an environmental engineer, and have been trying to read what my professional associations are saying about corona survival in water/wastewater prior to and after disinfection and in drinking water (drinking water is used to fill up the pool).

    I saw an article yesterday about virus survival in wastewater in a Water Environment Federation (WEF) newsletter, but i was only able to read the first paragraph, cause it was linked to another publication that I couldn't access. I'll check back with WEF and also see what the American Water Works Association (AWWA) is saying too. Drinking water is almost always disinfected at the water source before distribution and of course pools add additional disinfection. Intuitively, swimming and immersing in water with chlorine seems like a good thing.

    So, I'll see what i can find out. Its a new virus and there may not be testing results available on survival rates in the drinking water/wastewater environment yet. My gut is that without disinfectants present in the water, its a big problem, as would be the case with many other waterborne pathogens. Somewhat similarly, different types of disinfection may be more effective in killing it. The maintenance of residual levels of disinfectant in a water distribution system and pool are essential.

    This obviously doesn't address the consequences of hob-nobbing on a pool deck and locker room with many other swimmers
    Last edited by Sojerz; March 7th, 2020 at 02:06 PM.
    Some guys they just give up living and start dying little by little, piece by piece. Some guys come home from work and wash up and go racin in the street. (Bruce Springsteen, 1978)

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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    It's hard to imagine a virus surviving more than few seconds in a chlorinated pool. I'm guessing events are cancled becasue of groups of people. Shaking hands, maybe even.

    As near as I can see, the virus is spreading fast enough that virtually everyone will be exposed to it in the next few months, so I don't think it will be an issue for very long. (Maybe a BIG issue, just not all that long).

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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    This is such an important topic. I'm surprised it wasn't posted sooner. I've been concerned, as I'm 69 and have had pneumonia. I also witness spitting in our pool and people who don't shower before getting in. I asked the instructor today why the pool was so "quiet". Most unusual on a Saturday. Yes, parents are cancelling swim lessons and swim team practice due to concerns over COVID.
    OTOH, I also workout in the gym 3x a week. I feel safer in the pool than on the machines and weights that are crammed together. I use the wipes, but there are many who cough and sneeze and sweat and don't follow proper hygiene.

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    Participating Member Annkmarshfield's Avatar
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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    Check the Forum regarding coronavirus and Spring Nationals in San Antonio. Comments are from Meet Director as well as Rob Copeland - dated March 6 & 7. It appears a statement will be forthcoming regarding this issue.

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    Very Active Member Kurt Dickson's Avatar
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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    I say we not add to the hysteria (too late?) and go ahead with nationals. It's not like we are talking about Ebola virus with 90% mortality. SXSW participants are overwhelming hygienically challenged and USMS participants are, at the very least, forced to be clean.

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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    Austin just canceled SXSW. Is it safe to think Nationals will go on as planned. Is it safe to do so. I really want to go to Nationals, but I am 71 and concerned.
    Last year, 417,000 people from all over the world attended SXSW. That is a HUGE number. How many attend nationals, 1,500? So 1/30th the number of SXSW, and primarily from the US? I don't think it is a fair benchmark, personally.

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    Very Active Member pwb's Avatar
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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Dickson View Post
    SXSW participants are overwhelming hygienically challenged and USMS participants are, at the very least, forced to be clean.
    In Dr. Dickson (and chlorine), I trust!

    Also, watching/reading SwimSwam, I see all the college conference championships continuing to go, no talk of NCAAs being cancelled.

    Maybe we can do what they're talking about with the NCAA basketball tournament ... no fans allowed!

    But, since there are never any fans for a Masters meet anyhow, the show must go on.

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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    Following with interest. I definitely fall in the camp of not adding to hysteria but have concerns about our swimmers who are more at risk for health or age factors. If the meet does indeed continue as planned, I imagine those at high risk will have to make their own choice/discuss with their docs and support good hygiene with lots of signage reminding hand washing, close water quality monitoring, etc... I am curious to see what the statement will be and will support usms in whichever direction they go. Would be super sad to miss the event but would be devastating to have very sick athletes.

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    Very Active Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    I am not particularly concerned about exposure once I am at the meet. That is something I have control over to some extent. My issue is being at the airport and being confined in the plane for 2 1/2 hours with someone beside me or behind me on the plane that may be sick.

    And that would not bother me either except that my wife (who will not be going to the meet) has a compromised immune system. I don't want to get her sick upon my return!
    Glenn Gruber

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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    Gotta agree with Glenn here. The travel is quite possibly a more significant risk.

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    "Don't float through life orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    After signing up, we purchased airline tickets to the meet. If it is canceled ---- will the greedy airlines not refund our airfare?

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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    A swimming pool would be the most difficult place to transmit a virus.

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    Quote Originally Posted by orca1946 View Post
    After signing up, we purchased airline tickets to the meet. If it is canceled ---- will the greedy airlines not refund our airfare?
    Check with your airline. Several of them have already announced changes to their policy.
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

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    "Don't float through life orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    I still want to do nationals but, we just bought a new house after 43 years in ours, and the airline ticket $$$ would be helpful in "things" needed.

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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    A swimming pool would be the most difficult place to transmit a virus.
    Why is that? People spit in the pool, swim when they have colds, don't shower, pee in the pool. That's a LOT of germs.

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    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    Why is that? People spit in the pool, swim when they have colds, don't shower, pee in the pool. That's a LOT of germs.
    well in the case of this and other recent Coronaviruses, chlorine in even small amounts in water has been proven effective at killing the virus. So I think the survival time for this virus in a pool with standard chlorine levels is very short.

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    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    A lot of the airlines and hotels are seeing massive reservation cancellations. This is actually probably a good time to fly with many fewer people travelling. Plus, the CDC and FAA have added more stringent cleaning requirements for the aircraft.

    Everyone needs to make decisions based on their own circumstances.
    Kari Kennedy

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    Very Active Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    Quote Originally Posted by flystorms View Post
    A lot of the airlines and hotels are seeing massive reservation cancellations. This is actually probably a good time to fly with many fewer people travelling. Plus, the CDC and FAA have added more stringent cleaning requirements for the aircraft.
    Good point regarding fewer people flying! While I applaud the more stringent cleaning of the cabin, my bigger concern is the passenger in the same row or behind me who is coughing or sneezing. I can do a no breather, but not for 2 hours!
    Glenn Gruber

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    Very Active Member Sojerz's Avatar
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    Re: Nationals and Coronavirus.

    So here's what I found (in part) on the webpages of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), and through a link to a relevant WHO publication. The relationship between pool water and drinking water is obvious; I view wastewater as a more or less "worst case" water environmental condition relevant only in that regard.

    With a well maintained pH and free residual chlorine concentration in a pool, the risk from pool water exposure seems very low and/or non-existent, as this type of virus is sensitive to chlorination and UV disinfection and would be killed in seconds. But the risk in a pool without a well maintained free chlorine residual could be significant (I.e., poorly maintained pools in backyards, hotels, hot tubs, etc.).

    The risk of exposure at nationals would seem to be from inhalation of droplets while on the pool deck, locker rooms, bathrooms, hotels, restaurants, airplanes etc. from close contact with someone coughing or sneezing or from contact with a contaminated surface in these close contact locations.
    My $0.02

    Below is a copy of relevant text:

    Water Environment Federation

    The Water Professionals Guide to COVID-19 (in part) (2/11/2020)

    How is COVID-19 transmitted, and how contagious is it?


    While many questions remain regarding transmission of COVID-19, most often Coronaviruses spread from person-to-person during close contact about 2 m (6 ft). Person-to-person spread is thought to mainly occur via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Close contact generally does not include brief interactions, such as walking past a person.

    With most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they show symptoms of infection. However, some viruses can be contagious prior to symptoms development, and the COVID-19 has been reported to have spread from an asymptomatic infected patient to a close contact.

    The rate at which a person can get COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface or object (i.e., fomites) and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes is unclear. We also do not know if viral particles can be aerosolized from water or suspended into air after settling and remain infective. While such routes can occur for other coronaviruses, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control states that there is currently no evidence to support airborne transmission of the novel Coronavirus. A precautionary approach should be taken until studies eliminate other routes of transmission. Epidemiological studies also suggest that transmission rates of COVID-19 currently might be higher than those of SARS and MERS. Scientists have estimated that each person with the new Coronavirus could infect somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures, according to Early Transmissibility Assessment of a Novel Coronavirus in Wuhan, China, in the Elsevier SSRN (Social Science Research Network).


    Is COVID-19 present in wastewater?

    Recent information suggests that COVID-19 may be transmitted through the fecal-oral route. The virus RNA was detected in patient stool after scientists noticed that some patients infected with the COVID-19 virus experienced diarrhea in the early stages of infection instead of a fever, the latter being more common. A recent paper, First Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the United States, in the New England Journal of Medicine also confirmed the virus RNA detection in feces. OSHA recommends that workers handle solid waste contaminated with COVID-19 as they would other regulated Category B medical waste, corresponding with the recommendations of other organizations. If the recovery of infectious particles from feces or wastewater at potentially infective doses is confirmed at a future date, this recommendation may have to be revised.

    Detection of viruses by molecular techniques provides no indication that the virus is infectious. It remains to be seen if infectious virus particles are excreted in patients' feces and urine, and if so, how well the viruses are able to survive in wastewater.

    Previous studies investigating persistence of coronavirus surrogates and SARS in wastewater highlight that in the absence of disinfection, the virus can survive in wastewater from hours to days. In 2003, research on SARS had suggested that sewage was implicated in the infection of a cluster of cases in the Amoy Gardens apartment block in Hong Kong. A recent report indicated possible COVID-19 transmission through sewage pipes in a building in Hong Kong, but this remains to be confirmed.

    However, previous work also highlights that SARS can readily be disinfected when chlorine dosing produces a free chlorine residual between 0.2 and 0.5 mg/L for municipal wastewater. While Ebola virus is different, it is reassuring that the article, Persistence of Ebola Virus in Sterilized Wastewater, similarly showed that no virus was recovered at doses of 5 and 10 mg/L of chlorine and a 3.5 log reduction was achieved in the presence of free chlorine residual of 0.16 mg/L for 20 seconds. These results imply that standard municipal wastewater system disinfection and hyper (or shock) chlorination practices may be sufficient to control the virus provided utilities monitor free available chlorine during treatment to ensure it has not been depleted.


    World Health Organization
    Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for COVID-19 (in part)
    Technical Brief
    03 March 2020
    1.3 Keeping water supplies safe


    The presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low13. While laboratory studies of surrogate coronaviruses taking place in well controlled environments indicate that the virus can remain infectious in fecally contaminated water for days to weeks14. A number of measures can be taken to improve water safety starting with source water protection, treatment of water (at point of distribution, collection, or consumption), and safe storage of treated water in regularly cleaned and covered containers at home. Furthermore, conventional, centralized water treatment methods which utilize filtration and disinfection should inactivate COVID-19 virus. Other human coronaviruses have been shown to be sensitive to chlorination and UV disinfection15. As enveloped viruses are surrounded by a lipid host cell membrane, which is not very robust, COVID-19 virus is likely to be more sensitive to chlorine and other oxidant disinfection processes than many other viruses such as coxsackieviruses, which have a protein coat. For effective centralized disinfection, there should be a residual concentration of free chlorine of ≥ 0.5 mg/l after at least 30 min contact time at pH < 8.016. A chlorine residual should be maintained throughout the distribution system.

    Best.
    Some guys they just give up living and start dying little by little, piece by piece. Some guys come home from work and wash up and go racin in the street. (Bruce Springsteen, 1978)

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