The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues despite warmer temperatures. As businesses start to reopen, infectious disease experts warn social engagements, especially when indoors or with large groups, are still risky.
So, what activities can you enjoy while staying safe and physically distant?
1. BYOE picnic (bring your own everything)
Meet a friend, or maybe a few, for a picnic in the park or someone’s backyard. If you do:
- Keep at least six (6) feet between your friends and anyone in the area.
- Bring your own food and supplies (dishes, silverware, picnic blanket, etc.) and do not share with your friend(s).
- Wear a mask when not eating or drinking.
- Wash or sanitize hands before and after eating.
- Wash all picnic supplies when you get home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say there is no evidence COVID-19 can spread though water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. If you’re going to a beach, park, or public pool, remember to:
- Stay at least six (6) feet from others, even in the water.
- Do not share towels, pool toys, or other equipment.
- Wear a cloth mask when not in the water.
- Check for updates from local health authorities before you go.
- Practice good hygiene. Use hand sanitizer. Disinfect any items you use. Cover coughs and sneezes.
3. Hiking and camping
Take a day-trip or stay overnight in a remote location. This way, you get out of the house and enjoy nature while avoiding crowds. Make sure any companions have been social distancing, are following guidelines, and have not had symptoms recently. As with other outdoor activities, it’s important to:
- Wear a mask and avoid touching your face.
- Maintain at least six (6) feet distance from others.
- Avoid sharing equipment.
- Wash or sanitize hands often.
- Take extra precautions when using public restrooms.
Trying to decide if an activity is safe?
The best advice is to be careful. Dr. Emily Landon, a hospital epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist at University of Chicago Medicine, recently summed it up: “Always choose outdoors over indoor, always choose masking over not masking, and always choose more space for fewer people over a smaller space.”
We recognize that these activities may not be for everyone.
Other options and safety tips
Consider golfing, fishing, kayaking, tennis, or other activities that keep space between you and other people. Check with the clubs, parks, or other organizations that oversee the activities for additional safety guidelines.
And while you keep up with COVID-19 safety measures, don’t forget basic summer safety – stay hydrated and use sunscreen!
Reminder: Your personal risk depends on your health, your age, and the prevalence of the virus in your area. Experts encourage people over 65 and with compromised immune systems to stay home if they can. Stay home if you feel unwell and contact your doctor if you experience any symptoms. Follow local laws in your area and stay up-to-date on new developments in your area.
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