‘Harmless’ Arkansas Pool Party Ends In Cluster

arkansas pool party
File photo

“They’re young, they’re swimming, they’re just having activity, and positive cases resulted from that.”

PLUS: What you need to know before you go to a pool or a beach this summer 

May 24, 2020 |

The Washington Post – As health experts warned reopening could bring a resurgence of Covid-19 cases across the country, the governor of Arkansas said over the weekend that his state was facing a “second peak” in infections after a cluster emerged at a pool party.

“A high school swim party that I’m sure everybody thought was harmless,” Asa Hutchinson said during a briefing. “They’re young, they’re swimming, they’re just having activity, and positive cases resulted from that.”

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Hutchinson, a Republican, didn’t specify the number of cases linked to the party, and the state’s health department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post.

He also didn’t say how residents in his state should ensure they don’t spread the virus, but in a morning interview on Fox News Sunday, Hutchinson didn’t stress staying home.

“We have to manage the risk,” he said.” “We take the virus very seriously, it’s a risk, it causes death, but you can’t cloister yourself at home, that is just contrary to the American spirit.”

Hutchinson never issued a statewide stay-home directive, and at a White House meeting with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, the governor emphasized Arkansas is “at work” and businesses are open.

But on Saturday, he warned people celebrating the holiday weekend to “be safe.”

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“During this Memorial (Day) weekend, we want to be out and we want to enjoy ourselves,” he continued, “but let’s be safe and let’s be disciplined at the same time.”

Earlier in the week, the state had logged its highest single-day count of new cases: 455. Then, on Saturday, Arkansas added 163 confirmed cases and two deaths. To date, 115 people in the state have died of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus …

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Sunday shared the New York Times front page memorializing people who died of covid-19, faulting the Trump administration for the rising U.S. death toll.

“Instead of taking fact-based action, Trump blames others for his chaotic failures and erratic response; undermines scientists; and ignores Americans’ hardship,” she wrote … Read more. 

Before you go to the pool, beach or lake this summer, read this

May 22, 2020

(CNN) It’s nearly summer, and it’s getting balmier by the day.

You could splay out on the beach or cannonball into a community pool — but you also don’t want to bring home coronavirus.

You can have fun without fear, as long as you observe the social distancing measures we’ve adopted as routine over the last few months. Now, you just have to do it in while you float in an inner tube.

We asked two infectious disease experts about how to have coronavirus-free fun at your favorite waterfronts. Here’s their advice for a sunny, safer summer.

Before you go

The risk of infection is thought to be lower outside, where wind can blow the virus away.

But like anything in the age of coronavirus, there’s risk in recreation, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and longtime adviser to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“You can do all these things,” he told CNN.”You just have to keep yourself distant.”

Find out the pool or beach’s safety protocol. Is the pool or beach restricting the number of people who have access at one time? Some facilities may ask patrons to leave after their allotted time is up to limit capacity.

Come prepared. Shared lawn chairs or pool toys may not be disinfected between visitor rotations. You can bring your own disinfectant wipes to clean your seat when you arrive.

You should also pack a cloth face mask (or two, in case one gets wet) to wear out of the water.

In the water

Coronavirus is not likely to spread in water, the CDC says. Disinfecting chemicals such as chlorine and bromine can “inactivate” the virus in the water. The CDC doesn’t specify how long it takes the virus to inactivate, though.

The same guidance doesn’t exist for saltwater or freshwater. There’s still a lot we don’t know about Covid-19, so the safest thing to do is maintain ample distance from others … Read more. 


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