Summer is usually a prime time for outdoor fun. And during a time of lockdowns and quarantine, these activities may be even more appealing. But before you head to a trail, park, pool, beach or other destination, consider these tips:
Visit places close to home. Traveling long distances may expose you to people and/or objects tainted by novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Keep your hands clean. You know the drill: Soap. Water. At least 20 seconds. When soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol).
Stay 6 feet or more away from people who don’t live with you. Social distancing is a vital preventive measure. Open areas and wide trails/paths are best. Avoid crowded areas.
Wear a mask when you’re around people who don’t live with you. When social distancing is difficult, masks are vitally important. But kids younger than age 2 and people who have breathing trouble or can’t take their mask off should not wear masks. For this group, it’s even more important to keep a safe distance from anyone who is not in your household.
If you follow the rules, pools can be cool. Evidence suggests that COVID-19 is not spread through water properly treated with coronavirus-killing chlorine or bromine. But that doesn’t mean pools, water playgrounds and such are totally COVID-19-safe. You still need to practice social distancing and hand hygiene and wear a mask around people who do not live in your house.
Know before you go. Is the park, recreation area, beach/swimming area, playground, etc. open? What specific facilities or services (visitors’ centers, restrooms, concessions, etc.) are closed? These answers will help you know what to take with you – like food, water, hand sanitizer, etc.
Check out playground cleanliness. Playgrounds can be hard to keep safe. If you are unsure whether a playground is adequately disinfected, don’t go there. If you do go, all the other precautions (social distancing, masks, hand hygiene, etc.) still apply.
Stay home if you have (or might have) COVID-19. Don’t visit a trail, park, beach or other destination in the great outdoors if you are sick with or have tested positive for COVID-19 or were recently (within 14 days) exposed to COVID-19.
Avoid parks or other recreation spots that are crowded. Stay away from places where you cannot stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who does not live in your house.