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Park Etiquette During the Coronavirus Pandemic in Minnesota
As Coronavirus cases decline and vaccination rates continue to rise, a path back to normality has now become possible. Minnesota’s most popular destination and activity options are already open and ready to welcome visitors. However, certain settings may still have minor restrictions.
Minnesota’s lively public parks are a popular summertime destination and activity for residents and visitors alike. Keeping your mind and body active is key to maintaining good health. In nearly every city and town nearby, there are public parks, trails, and open spaces where one can de-stress, breathe fresh air, and be physically active. Despite the many health benefits these facilities and areas provide, it is crucial that you observe the appropriate guidelines associated with proper park etiquette to stop COVID-19 in its tracks.
The following information is per recommendations made by the CDC and is separated by the types of outdoor-related activities and guidelines pertinent to each.
Any Public Park and Recreation Facility
When planning a day trip to the park, beach, or another type of recreation facility, it is important to stay close to home. If you travel long distances to visit a park, you may get in touch come into contact with people you wouldn’t normally encounter or stop along the way, which may contribute to the spread of COVID-19. During travel, you might also touch surfaces contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.
Additionally, check with the recreation area or park ahead of time to learn how to prepare safely. If you’re visiting a national, state, or local park, parks will open at the discretion of the federal or local government. If you’re visiting a beach, going boating, swimming, or doing other water activities, the state and local authorities determine whether or not swimming areas will be open. Be sure to inquire in advance about the operating hours of the park’s visitors’ centers, restrooms, and concessions. Pack supplies like hand sanitizer or wipes to prevent germs from spreading.
Lastly, no matter what, you should still spend as little time as possible in crowded places, keep a safe distance from others, wear a mask when necessary, wash your hands frequently, and stay home if you’re sick.
Visiting a Playground
Playgrounds require extra caution because they’re primarily used by children, they are larger and harder to maintain, and also because they have more surfaces with the potential for contamination.
When visiting a park, in addition to following the guidelines above, you should keep a distance of six feet or more from strangers. Before and after playing on the playground, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. You can opt for hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
To ensure your family’s safety, you should only camp and hike with people from your household. When at the campground, on the trails, or anywhere else you find yourself in the park, stay at least six feet away from others. When you decide to go camping or hiking with people from outside your household, you should space your tents out by at least six feet. Similarly, you should avoid sharing your camping supplies, like utensils or bottles.
Before you go, stock up on hand soap, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies. Restrooms that lack running water, such as portable restrooms, may not be equipped with hand washing supplies. Following your camping adventures, practice good hand hygiene after touching any surfaces.
Currently, no evidence indicates that COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in swimming pools, hot tubs, or splash pads. Moreover, regular water maintenance and disinfection (using chlorine or bromine) should eliminate COVID-19. However, if you’re participating in these activities in a social setting, don’t forget the basics: wash your hands, keep your distance, and wear a mask when not in the water.
Participants who interact with more people, share equipment with more players, and stay in contact for longer periods of time are at a greater risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. In this way, the risk of spreading COVID-19 can vary based on the type of activity.
Therefore, outdoor settings are the best option whenever possible. If an outdoor setting is not possible, make sure your facility has high ceilings, well-ventilated rooms, or HEPA-filter portable air purifiers. To keep players safe, each player must use their own equipment, such as batting gloves, mitts, headgear, helmets, and water bottles. Be sure to always clean your hands before and after participating in practices and games, or when sharing equipment.
Discover Your Legal Options with a Minnesota Personal Injury Attorney
Although restrictions are easing, the pandemic is still far from over. As such, we must remain vigilant in public spaces—including parks, on the water, and on the roads. Despite best efforts to stay safe, you can still be injured at any given time. If you’ve sustained injuries in Minnesota, you should give your claim prompt attention to ensure your best chances at recovering a maximum settlement. Therefore, it’s important to speak with a personal injury lawyer today to make sure you have the best chance of receiving the appropriate compensation. Our attorneys at Knutson+Casey are here to help you take back control of your life and protect your rights.