Summer fun: should I stay or should I go?
After several months of quarantine, many of us are feeling cabin fever. As restrictions lift and the weather warms, how do we know what’s safe to do in these days of COVID-19? Is it safe to go to parks, backyard gatherings, swimming pools or playgrounds?
Experts say the answer isn’t simple. There’s no such thing as a zero-risk outing right now. It depends on your age and health, the prevalence of the virus in your area and the precautions you and others around you take. The more time you spend and the closer you are to any infected people, the higher your risk. Interacting with more people raises your risk, and indoor places are riskier than outdoors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided the following guidance to help you shape your summer plans:
- Visit parks or other destinations that are close to your home, as traveling distances may require stops and being in close contact with others.
- Prepare before you visit. Check to see if your destination is open and what steps they are taking to keep you safe.
- Stay at least six feet away from others (social distancing). Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
- Play it safe around and in swimming pools. Keep space between yourself and others. Avoid large gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Visit destinations if you are sick or were recently exposed to COVID-19.
- Visit crowded parks or destinations. Make sure you can stay at least six feet away from others at all times.
- Use playgrounds, as they are a challenge to clean and could spread the virus to young children.
- Don’t forget to take safety precautions around organized activities or sports. The St. Louis health care systems released guidelines surrounding restarting youth and high school sports.