Fall Isn’t Canceled: Stay Safe While Enjoying Your Favorite Activities

Shandra Martinez

| 3 min read

Father and Son Playing at Park in Autumn
Plenty of sunshine combined with cooler temperatures make fall a great time to head outdoors to enjoy some of your favorite activities. Whether hiking, biking or just hanging out with family at your neighborhood park, this past summer has shown us that all our activities look a bit different when we are doing them in the midst of a global pandemic.
Wearing face coverings in crowded areas, even when outside, and staying six feet away from people who are not in our households have become two of the most important ways we can keep ourselves and families safe. As the seasons change, here are a few ways you can plan in advance to keep your fall activities healthier.

At the playground

The most difficult thing about playgrounds during this pandemic is that young children often do not understand the importance of social distancing. If you are taking them to a playground, try going at a time when it is likely to be less crowded, like early in the morning, and try to stay at least six feet apart from people who are not in your household.
Face coverings are important here, too. The CDC recommends everyone two years and older wear a cloth face covering. Children and babies younger than that should not have their faces covered. If the playground gets too crowded, it might be best to leave and find another outdoor area that children can explore.
Make it a habit to wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol before and after you visit a playground.
If you are heading to a park or playground, the CDC recommends you go to one near your home, as traveling long distances to another spot might contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

On a hiking trail

Trails are a great place to walk or hike outside in the fall. Whether it’s a paved walkway or a footpath through a forest, this outdoor exercise pairs perfectly with autumn.
But as we’ve seen this summer, some of our favorite trails can get crowded quickly. Wear a face covering and stay six feet away from people who are not from your household, even when you are hiking outside. If you are on a trail that looks empty, keep a face covering in your pocket so you can put it on if you find yourself passing another person. If you cannot keep a six-foot distance from someone approaching you, consider stepping off the trail until they pass.

At a campground

Fall can be an excellent time to go camping. Public and private campgrounds are usually less crowded in the fall, making it easier to snag a campsite away from other people. The CDC recommends camping only with people from your own household, and staying at least six feet away from others in the campground and on any trails.
If you do camp with people from outside your household, health officials recommend camping in separate tents, campers or RVs. Tents should be spaced at least six feet apart. People from different households should not share camping supplies, including food and drinks.
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when touching surfaces, including trash containers, public restrooms or vault toilets, and water refill stations.

Stay home if you are sick

It is important to stay home if you feel sick, have any COVID-19 symptoms, or have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting your results.
Photo credit: Getty

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