While state parks, local parks and most nature centers have closed buildings, restrooms and playgrounds due to the coronavirus, outdoor areas are still open for you to get outside and walk. It’s a great chance for you and the family to reconnect with nature. While you should do your best to stay inside and away from crowds, you can still get some fresh air on a brisk walk, run or bike ride somewhere local. Get outside and explore a beautiful spot in your area, which could be bursting with spring colors and flowers sometime soon.
Here are a few safety rules to be mindful of:
- The CDC recommends not gathering in groups of 10 or more people. This isn’t time for playdates, which could spread germs if the kids are in close contact. If you happen to run into friends, remember to stay at least six feet apart.
- Reports are constantly changing about how long this virus can live on surfaces, so be mindful of touching benches, picnic tables or gates. Make sure to sanitize or disinfect with wipes or hand sanitizer if you come in contact.
- If the local walking path near you is crowded, look for a garden or arboretum. Many are still open to the public, but check their websites or call ahead before you head out.
- There are tons of hiking trails around the state where you can keep your distance from others and get outdoors. Just remember that many have limited to no staff available, so this isn’t the time to tackle a hike beyond your abilities where someone could get hurt or dehydrated. Stick with familiar or easy spots.
- Many public golf and tennis courts are still open, since those sports don’t really involve human contact. Avoid sports like basketball or volleyball which involve close contact and a lot of hands touching the same ball.
- You can still walk your dogs on a local trail, of course, as long as you obey social distancing rules. Most dog parks are closed for the time being.
- It’s also the start of tick season. So remember to check your kids, clothes and pets.
- Be mindful if your kids have spring allergies that this is peak season. Here’s a handy chart to tell the difference between the flu, coronavirus, cold or allergies.
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