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Dr. Ezike: Swimming Pools Are Not Safe To Use During Coronavirus Pandemic Because Of 'Fecal Shedding'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Thursday that using swimming pools during the coronavirus pandemic is not a good idea – with a gross-out reason as to why.

"IDPH does regulate pools, and if we want to get into the different microbes that exist within pools – different swimming pools - we can do that. But definitely, the practice of obviously being in a swimming pool, unfortunately, we do know that there is some fecal shedding of this coronavirus," Ezike said, barely able to stop herself from laughing as she did so.

There are other reasons that swimming pools should not be opened for now, Ezike said.

"You would have locker rooms with which people would need to change, so you would have more people congregated in the same setting, so for a myriad of reasons, that wouldn't be conducive to promoting social distancing and decreasing community spread," Ezike said.

The remarks came as the answer to a question submitted by Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business, who asked why chlorinated indoor pools are not being opened when outdoor recreation is allowed during the stay-at-home period.

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