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  • Pools, Picnics, and Playdates during a Pandemic
    As communities open back up and summer is here, it’s confusing to know what activities are safe and which put you at risk for COVID-19. While staying home is the best way to stay physically healthy, it’s not always ideal for your mental health. For this reason, you should still enjoy summer fun while taking precautions to avoid infection. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Pools, Picnics, and Playdates during a Pandemic

What’s the risk level of COVID-19 for these favorite summer activities?

A few months ago, schools were shut down, sports ended, people worked from home, and you only left your house for the essentials. As communities open back up and summer is here, it’s confusing to know what activities are safe and which put you at risk for COVID-19. While staying home is the best way to stay physically healthy, it’s not always ideal for your mental health. For this reason, you should still enjoy summer fun while taking precautions to avoid infection.

The risk of COVID-19 varies for different summer activities. Your personal risk will depend on your age, health, and how many cases of the virus are in your community.

A Day at the Pool or Beach

What’s summer without water to cool off in? If you’re able to maintain a social distance of at least six feet, then spending a day at the pool or beach is considered a low-risk activity. Experts suggest the virus will either be diluted in large amounts of water or killed by chlorine. However, crowded pools and beaches increase your risk, whether you’re on land or in the water. Keep an eye on your kids who may have a hard time staying six feet away from their friends. Plan to go to the pool or beach during the morning or evening hours or during weekdays when it’s less crowded.

Staying in a Hotel

Many people have travel concerns regarding the virus. If you’re staying in a hotel you have a low to medium risk for exposure. The main danger is spending time in a crowded lobby, elevator, gym, or restaurant. When you arrive in your room, wipe down surfaces and the remote control with a disinfecting wipe. You may also want to take the bedspread off the bed in case it wasn’t laundered between guests.

Camping

One of the lowest risk summer activities for your family is camping. After all, you’re safe and sound when you’re outdoors and away from other people. Just remember that all camping isn’t safe camping. The risk for COVID increases if you’re staying in a crowded campground and sharing a restroom or picnic area.

Flying in an Airplane

Many are wondering whether they should cancel their airline tickets. That’s because traveling on an airplane is considered high risk since you’re in close proximity to other people and there’s not much air flow. Just because flights are cheap doesn’t mean you should plan to do nonessential travel these days. Non-crowded planes and shorter flights lower your risk.

Backyard Barbecue with Friends

Outdoor cookouts are a typical part of summer, but are they safe this year? In general, the fewer the people in one place, the lower the risk. The risk is low when you gather outdoors with other people who have been careful about social distancing. Sharing food isn’t risky, but the risk goes up when you share dishes or serving utensils. Eat before you hang out with friends or have everyone bring their own food, drinks, and utensils. If you want to play it safe with friends, wear a mask whether you’re indoors or outdoors.

Parades and Festivals

It’s unlikely that your community is having their normal parades, festivals, concerts, or sporting events, but if they are, it’s a good idea to take precautions. The more people you’re around and the longer you’re around them, the greater the risk. Hanging around a large group of people together for more than 10 minutes increases your risk of infection.