Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…

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… Happens quickly around here, doesn’t it? One day to the next and BAM! – 90 degrees.

Summer is the time for outdoor activities, and we want to mention a few things that will keep you safe and healthy during this time of COVID-19. Remember the practical – keep hydrated, wear sunscreen and sunglasses, and avoid spending too much time outside during the middle of the day. Practice social distancing, wear a mask, and wash your hands often and well.

But beyond that, here are a few ways to keep safe during COVID-19 while participating in some of the activities many of us love.

Hiking/Biking

As we enter Phase 2 of the reopening of Virginia, state and county parks are reopening with specific safety guidelines. Visit the Fairfax County Parks Authority website with COVID information. Here’s similar information for the Virginia state park system.

Things to remember:

  • You don’t need to wear a mask while hiking or biking, but have one handy in case you stay standing in proximity to others.
  • Check park information to see what facilities are open for hand-washing etc., and bring hand sanitizer/wipes/disposable gloves.
  • Stay close to home – visit nearby parks rather than driving long distances to different communities.
  • If possible, avoid narrow bike paths and peak use times.

Swimming

Information on county rec centers and swimming pools can be found here. According to the CDC, “there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas.” Also, the chlorine or bromine used to clean pool water has been shown to inactivate the virus.

Here’s a blog that discusses health safety at Virginia’s public beaches during COVID-19: .

The water may be safe, but that’s not to say the air, and the breath, around a pool or at the seashore may not be infectious. Therefore, follow the same safety practices as described above:

  • Don’t use the pool/visit the beach during peak hours.
  • Wear a mask if you’re lounging around the perimeter of the pool, and bring along hand sanitizer and wipes.
  • Stay close to home – visit nearby pools rather than driving long distances to a beach, if possible.

Picnics/Barbecues

Here are some simple precautions to keep in mind when eating outdoors with family or close friends:

  • Keep it small; don’t invite too many people.
  • Stay outside and remember social distancing.
  • Plate food directly from the grill rather than from a serving platter; the less hands, the safer.
  • Use disposable plates, glasses, and utensils. While we are all concerned about waste, in this instance health must be the priority.
  • Stay masked when not eating.
  • If you use the host’s bathroom, use hand sanitizer and clean all faucets etc. with a paper towel or wipe.

Welcome to summer! Enjoy the great outdoors, have fun, and STAY SAFE.

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