As the recreation facilities we have all missed so dearly begin to open, there are many questions regarding how to maintain safety and lower risk of infection when visiting these spaces. To help, we’ve referenced guidelines offered by IPEMA and the CDC and put together a few tips to help you maximize your visit and help decrease chances of infection.
Prepare before your visit
State and local authorities will decide whether parks and other recreational facilities will open. Check with the park in advance to be sure you know which areas or services are open, such as bathroom facilities, playgrounds, and concessions. Ask about cleaning and disinfecting procedures being used. Bring what you need with you to protect yourself, including hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and masks. If restroom facilities are closed, be sure to know where the closest facility is located.
Stay home if you don’t feel well
If you or a family member is feeling sick, or you have been in contact with someone sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and contact your doctor.
Maintain physical distances
Right now, the safest practice is for everyone to stay distanced from others who live outside their home. This is intended to continue “flattening the curve,” and avoid infecting those who are at highest risk. Stay at least 6’ away from non-family members, and avoid overly crowded areas.
Ensure the family understands and practices safe habits
For the foreseeable future, we all need to be extra careful about hand-washing, covering our mouths with our elbows when we sneeze or cough, and aiming to avoid touching our face as much as possible. This may be challenging for children to adopt, so reinforcing these skills during the days while they are home might be helpful practice. Wear masks when in public. If soap and water aren’t available, be sure to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol. Parents should always supervise the use of hand sanitizers with children.
Together we can practice safe habits so that we can use parks and outdoor facilities and reap the many benefits of being out in nature.