How to correctly social distance while outdoors

By Editor on 15th Apr 2020

The current Covid-19 situation means that there have been significant changes to many aspects of every-day life. Although residents in Tennessee are complying with the stay-in-place laws that have been enacted across the state, individuals are still able to spend time outside.

Taking a walk outside or jogging in your neighborhood are great ways to relieve stress, feel refreshed and spend time away from your screen. However, it’s vital to understand the importance of social distancing while you’re in a public outdoor space.

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) released the following statement and guidelines to correctly social distance while spending time outside:

Concerns about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak continue to grip our nation. As organizations that support the power of parks and open spaces as essential resources for health and wellness, we understand that people may have questions and concerns about visiting their local parks, trails or open spaces at this time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has flagged mental health as a top concern associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. We recognize that physical distancing may take a toll on our mental health, especially during high-stress and anxiety-producing global public health emergencies. We also know that parks provide a connection to the outdoors and green space as well as opportunities for physical activity which studies demonstrate reduces stress and improves mental health.

We believe that many parks, trails and open spaces can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows people to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide. In all instances, we recommend people follow local, state and national ordinances and guidelines regarding the use of these spaces and recognize that these vary from community to community.

In places where there are no restrictions on the use of local parks, trails and open spaces, we encourage all users to follow these recommendations:

– Refrain from using parks or trails if they are exhibiting symptoms.
– Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails.
– Prepare for limited access to public restrooms or water fountains.
– While on trails, warn other users of their presence and as they pass, and step aside to let others pass.
– Follow CDC guidance on the recommended size of social gatherings including outdoor picnicking, pick-up sports and other group hangouts, and maintain proper physical distance at all times.
– Observe CDC’s minimum recommended physical distancing of 6 feet from other individuals at all times. If this is not possible, users should find an alternate location or depart that space.
– Consult their local and state ordinances and guidelines for the most up to date recommendations on park and trail use.

Related articles: Coronavirus and your child’s mental health

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