Socially Distant Summer Fun

Stay safe and healthy while enjoying these outdoor activities with your friends.

06/03/2020

As days get warmer and longer and states begin to reopen, infectious disease experts are reminding everyone that social engagements, especially those that take place indoors or in large groups, are still risky. Dr. Emily Landon, a hospital epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist at University of Chicago Medicine recently said in an interview with NPR, “Always choose outdoors over indoor, always choose masking over not masking and always choose more space for fewer people over a smaller space." [1]

So, what summer activities can you enjoy while staying safe and socially distant?

1.       BYOE Picnic (Bring Your Own Everything)

You can share a meal with your friends without going to a restaurant (since eating indoors at a restaurant is considered a medium to high risk activity).  Meet a friend, or maybe a few, for a picnic in the park or backyard – just be sure to take precautions:

·         Keep at least 6 feet between your friends and anyone else 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/sanitize hands before and after eating

·         Wash all picnic supplies when you get home 

2.       Swimming

According to the CDC, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads though open bodies of water (oceans and lakes) or water in pools, hot tubs, spas or water play areas.[2] However, public pools and beaches are likely to become more crowded as temperatures spike and crowding increases the risk of spreading the virus. So, if you’re going swimming at the beach, park, or public pool, remember to:

·         Stay at least 6 feet away from others, even while 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 going

·         Practice good hygiene – use hand sanitizer, disinfect items you use while out, cover coughs and sneezes

3.       Hiking and Camping

Taking a day-trip or staying overnight in a remote location is a great way to get out of the house and enjoy nature while avoiding crowds. Of course, you may want to travel or meet up with friends, but it’s extremely important to make sure that any companions have been social distancing, following guidelines, and haven’t had any symptoms recently. As with other outdoor activities, it’s still important to:

·         Wear a mask and avoid touching your face

·         Maintain at least 6 feet distance from others

·         Avoid sharing equipment

·         Wash/sanitize hands frequently

Reminder: Your personal risk depends on your health, your age, and the prevalence of the virus in your area. Stay home if you feel unwell and contact your doctor about your symptoms. Follow local laws in your area and stay up-to-date on new developments in your area.

 

[1] https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/05/23/861325631/from-camping-to-dining-out-heres-how-experts-rate-the-risks-of-14-summer-activit

[2] https://www.uchealth.org/today/is-it-safe-to-swim-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-are-pools-lakes-and-beaches-safe-this-summer/

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