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Kokua Line: Chlorine kills virus in swimming pools, but CDC advises physical distancing as well

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Kihei resident Ann Shipman puts away her sunscreen after some time outside in the pool area at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Thursday, March 12. The CDC says there’s no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the water itself, but advises physical distancing at the pool to prevent person-to-person transmission.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Kihei resident Ann Shipman puts away her sunscreen after some time outside in the pool area at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Thursday, March 12. The CDC says there’s no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the water itself, but advises physical distancing at the pool to prevent person-to-person transmission.

Question: Is the chlorine in a swimming pool enough to kill the COVID-19 virus? Is swimming in a shared pool OK as long as physical distancing is practiced? The ocean is not an option for me because I have no way to get there, but my apartment building does have a pool.

Answer: Yes, “proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (with chlorine or bromine) of pools should kill COVID-19,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC says there’s no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the water itself, but advises physical distancing at the pool to prevent person-to-person transmission. To be clear, people who know they are infected with COVID-19 or who are showing any symptoms should not go to or use the pool, it says.

You can read more at 808ne.ws/cdcclean, which explains how to ensure the cleanliness of businesses, homes, schools and other places during the pandemic.

The CDC says swimming pools should be safe for healthy people to use as long as:

>> The pool is properly operated, maintained and disinfected.

>> Swimmers stay at least 6 feet away from each other.

>> Large groups are avoided (the definition of large was 10 people as of April 10, and may be updated soon).

>> Everyone keeps their hands clean by washing with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Q: I know that the federal tax filing deadline is extended until July 15, but can we order tax forms now? This would be for delivery by mail. I don’t have a computer.

A: No, not from the IRS’ National Distribution Center, which is closed until further notice due to the pandemic. “We are not able to take any orders for forms or publications to be mailed during this time,” the IRS says on its website.

You can’t pick up forms in person at a Taxpayer Assistance Center or public library either, because they’re also closed.

The IRS tells taxpayers who need hard copies of forms to download them at irs.gov/forms and print them out themselves.

To answer another reader’s question, at the moment the IRS isn’t even processing individual federal income tax returns that were submitted on paper. Taxpayers who filed on paper and haven’t received an expected refund should not file a second return, the IRS say. “Paper returns will be processed once processing centers are able to reopen.”

The IRS prefers that taxpayers file electronically and is processing those returns as usual. Taxpayers may file through their tax preparer, a tax software provider or IRS Free File. Ninety percent of tax returns filed so far this year were filed electronically, according to the IRS.

Q: I have a vehicle that I was working on last year and forgot to register it for 2019. The online site won’t accept my application, saying I need the current registration. What do I do?

A: Call Honolulu County’s phone line for questions about motor vehicle registrations at 768-4325.

Although the requirement for a current safety inspection has been suspended during the government’s emergency operations, the suspension doesn’t extend to motor vehicle registrations, which are still required. You’ll apparently have to settle last year’s problem before registering anew.

Auwe

Auwe to those take-away restaurants who put up a “face masks required” sign and then don’t enforce it. We don’t like to wear face masks, but want to obey the law and do the right thing. Failure to enforce is a slap in the face (mask) to the vast majority of law-abiding citizens. — F.M.

Mahalo

Much aloha to the young lady for paying for the groceries at the Hickam commissary. I really appreciate the thought. — Mahalo, Franklin


Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.


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