Will heat kill the COVID-19 spread this summer? Here's what we know

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The temperatures across southeast Texas are heating up as we head into Memorial Day weekend.

If you're asking what that may mean for people who are venturing back outside during the COVID-19 pandemic, ABC13 has asked experts for answers.

Will scorching heat help slow the spread of COVID-19?

"We don't know yet," answered Dr. Prathit Kulkarni with Baylor College of Medicine.

"That's a very interesting question - whether the warmer temperatures will affect the spread of this novel coronavirus," said Dr. Kulkarni. "I would say, at this point, it is a little too early to make any definitive projections about that."

The CDC is now recommending people wear masks around pools, but not while swimming.

Is it safe to swim in a pool?

"Yes," Dr. Kulkarni said. "At this point, the CDC has stated that there's no evidence that the pool water itself is necessarily a source of spread of COVID-19 if it is properly cleaned and normal disinfection procedures are followed. Usually, the virus should be killed in those situations."

Dr. Kulkarni stressed that it is outside of the pool that can be problematic. The virus spreads between people, so if there are large groups of people congregating, that can pose a risk.

"The main message for going to a swimming pool, is to avoid large groups of people outside of the pool, maintain a 6-foot distance, wash your hands frequently, and of course, if you're sick, do not go," said Dr. Kulkarni.

Should you send your kids back to daycare?

"That's a personal choice," Dr. Kulkarni said.

He also added that you should check with your childcare provider and inquire about their efforts and procedures to help slow the spread.

Is it safe for kids to go to the dentist?

"You want to make sure your kids are getting their dental needs taken care of," said Dr. Terri Alani "Absolutely, it's safe. It's more than safe."

Dr. Alani said her office has strict guidelines about how to handle patients. She said dentists across Houston are taking this very seriously. Patients are screened, their temperature is taken and protective gear is worn.

"When the patients arrive, they wait out in their car. We text them when we are free for them to come in," said Dr. Alani. "We don't want any other patients in the reception area at the same time."

Experts said when it comes to traveling, renting cars, or staying in hotels, those are all personal choices.

You should ask every company how they're handling the pandemic and what safety measures are in place. The decision to go, amounts to a personal choice and you must decide if it is worth the risk.

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