Enjoying outdoor activities and warmer weather can boost your family’s physical and mental health — especially if you’ve been sheltering at home during winter and spring.
The CDC notes that open-air spaces such as parks and beaches generally pose less risk for COVID-19 than indoor spaces, because they offer better ventilation and the opportunity to keep physical distance. So, take full advantage of the fresh air and sunshine — but keep the following precautions in mind to protect your family’s health.
Basic COVID-19 guidelines still apply
While you’re out and about, it’s still important to:
- Keep 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) away from people who don’t live with you.
- Make sure everyone in the family age 2 or older has a mask — and wears it, especially in situations where you can’t keep physical distance.
- Wash your hands often.
Visiting parks and recreation areas
Before you head out to a park, recreation area or public beach, call or check online to make sure it’s open and to find out what facilities (including bathrooms) and services are available. Even in great weather, state or local authorities may close recreation areas, limit access or hours of operation, or prohibit swimming.
If you’re able, plan your visit for a day or time when you’re less likely to find crowds. Once you arrive, avoid heavily traveled trails, paths or other areas where you can’t keep physical distance from others.
Stay safe in the water
Evidence suggests the virus that causes COVID-19 can’t be spread through water you swim or boat in — including beaches, lakes, pools, and hot tubs. So, go ahead and take that refreshing plunge.
You don’t need to wear a mask while you’re in the water; it will only get wet and make it hard to breathe. But make sure you can keep 6 feet away from other swimmers.
Plan ahead and pack the essentials
Bring hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and use it when you don’t have access to soap and water for handwashing. Disinfecting wipes come in handy if you must come in contact with frequently touched surfaces, such as pool entry gates or bathroom door handles.
And don’t forget the usual summer essentials, such as:
- Insect repellant
- First-aid kit
- Water or other fluids to stay hydrated
- Hat, umbrella or shade canopy
- Safety gear (think: helmets for cycling, life jackets for boating)
Picnics and barbecues
If your outdoor activities include grilling or gathering for a meal with loved ones who don’t live with you, take these steps to protect everyone’s health and safety:
- Arrange tables and chairs to allow at least 6 feet between family groups.
- Encourage guests to bring their own meals and beverages.
- If you’re sharing food, identify just one person to serve the food and handle the utensils.
- Provide single-serve packets of condiments.
By following these safety tips, you’ll be better able to relax and enjoy your summertime activities. If you or a family member need care for a scrape, a sunburn or a bug bite — have a visit on LiveHealth Online to get medical attention in minutes.