While we hoped warmer weather would put an end to coronavirus concerns, the risk of respiratory disease continues into the summer season. Studies show that temperatures have very little impact on COVID-19 transmission. This means we all need to continue practicing prevention measures. What will this look like at the park, pool, beach, and beyond? Below, we answer some common questions regarding summer during the pandemic.
Is it safe to swim during COVID?
According to experts at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there’s no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 is spread through water. Chlorine and bromine–the disinfectants used to clean pools, hot tubs, spas, and water play areas– should successfully kill the virus.
The potential for COVID-19 to spread at pools, lakes and beaches is related to the crowds attracted to these places. Close contact with other people, whether on land or in water, is still of concern. If you and your family go for a swim, make sure to maintain social distancing and wear facial coverings when not in the water. And as always, follow the guidance of your local public health authorities and facilities.
Do I need to wear a mask while outdoors?
When assessing the need for a mask, you should always follow local rules and regulations, and also consider your proximity to others. Check ahead of time to see if your destination has rules around face coverings. In situations where keeping a 6 foot distance may not be possible, wearing your mask adds a layer of protection. In addition, try to go at off-peak times to reduce your exposure to others.
Do I need to wear a face covering when I’m riding a bike?
If you’re biking on a less populated path or trail, a face covering likely isn’t necessary. But if you’re in a city where there are lots of people using the same bike lanes, wearing a mask helps keep your fellow cyclists safe. Always maintain a safe distance from others and don’t follow behind other riders too closely. If you plan on going into a store or spending time with others during or after the ride, you’ll need a mask for those times as well.
Can I take my child to the playground?
Current CDC guidelines recommend against the use of playgrounds. It’s hard for children to maintain physical distance while on the jungle gym, and the equipment itself could be infected. If children or adults touch those surfaces and then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes, they can be exposed to COVID-19.
Are backyard barbecues OK?
Small outdoor gatherings are a great way to stay social this summer. Still maintain physical distance and try to keep numbers down (think less than 10 people). You can further reduce the risk of transmission by having everyone bring their own food, plates, and utensils.
We hope this Q & A serves as a helpful guide for a healthy and safe summer during the pandemic!
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