5 Prevention Tips for Summer Activities Amid COVID-19
The summer is in full swing amid the global pandemic. It raises the question of how summer activities should be handled and how we can stay safe. None of these activities come without risk, but this does not mean that you cannot take part in summer fun.
The physicians at Family Care Centers Medical Group advise safety precautions and prevention tips for summer activities amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
1. Avoid Going to Swimming Pools and Beaches on Weekends
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no proof that the coronavirus can spread through the water, so you may think that going to beaches and swimming pools is safe. “However, going to these places still carries risk depending on the environment outside,” says Dr. Katayun Saadai, Internist at Family Care Centers Medical Group, Fountain Valley, CA.
“Playing in the water is not a risk, but you may be near to others, which increases the risk of cross-infection, and the risk can be high if you do not wear a face mask,” she adds. Waiting in a queue to get into the beach area, a crowded pool deck, changing in the room where there are many people around, and waiting at a crowded public restroom also increase the risk of infection.
You should avoid going to the swimming pool or beach on weekends or any time it is crowded. If you must go, consider going on weekdays. Whether you go to the beach or pool, make sure you stay at a minimum of 6 feet away from others to avoid contracting the virus.
2. Distance Yourself from Others While Traveling by Air or Road
Taking public transportation, where people are in close contact with others, is extremely risky. The CDC also advises to cancel or postpone all non-essential travel. Avoid public transportation and consider traveling by car to reduce the risk of cross-infection.
If traveling is essential, travelers should isolate themselves for 2 weeks beforehand and make sure to practice social distancing and wear a face mask when traveling. If you can, try to sit far away from others. Most airlines are making every possible effort to minimize the transmission of infection but they cannot guarantee your safety.
3. Maintain a Safe Distance from Others During Hiking and Outdoor Sports
Generally, compared to indoor activities, outdoor activities carry less risk, as the increased airflow minimizes your chance of contracting the virus. However, close-contact sporting events and group hiking are still considered risky, as they bring people together for an extended duration.
Being exposed to other people for more than 10 minutes can increase the risk of infection, and you need to avoid this if at all possible. You can minimize the risk of contracting the virus if you maintain a safe distance from others and wear a face mask when hiking or playing.
Consider playing sports like tennis and golf, as it is easier to avoid close contact and maintain a 6-feet distance from other players.
4. Follow All Safety Precautions at Outdoor Dining and Backyard Barbecues
When it comes to outdoor dining and backyard barbecues, consider gathering with only a small group of people to minimize the risk.
If you must attend a gathering, determine all the possible scenarios of physical interaction with others and avoid them to minimize the risk. Make sure you follow all safety precautions, including practicing good hand hygiene, wearing a face mask, and maintaining a 6-feet distance from other people at a gathering. If other guests are not wearing face masks, you may want to reconsider attendance.
5. Be Very Cautious About Sending Your Kids to Summer Camps
Most of the summer camps are temporarily shut down due to the pandemic, and the few camps that have begun reopening only allow limited children to contain the spread of the virus. However, the risk of infection can be high, and it is also difficult to maintain social distancing in summer camps, where group activities are encouraged. In this environment, summer camps are probably not a good idea.
Children are exposed to other kids and families in the summer camp, so the risk of cross-infection is high. Also, when the children return, they can infect others in your home. “You need to carefully consider whether to send your children to summer camp, especially if you have grandparents living in your home. Perhaps consider sending your kids to virtual summer camps, where they can enjoy activities while still being at home,” says Dr. Aisha Memon, a board-certified family medicine physician at Family Care Centers Medical Group in Costa Mesa, CA.
Consider These Summer Camp Alternative Ideas for Your Children
Consider these alternative summer camp ideas to keep your children engaged and entertained while keeping them safe at home.
- Create a stay-at-home sleepaway camp
- Summer reading and math challenges
- Virtual day camps
- Backyard play and picnics
- Virtual or home staycation
Remember that many coronavirus cases are asymptomatic, so you need to be extra careful while enjoying summer activities amid COVID-19.
If you want to learn more about COVID-19 or schedule an appointment for urgent and primary health conditions, contact us at a location near you. You can also receive medical assistance from the safety of your home by connecting with our providers via telehealth video visits.
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