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Coronavirus in Florida: 4 Rules for Visiting Local Parks

June 4, 2020

After a month of strict quarantine orders, some local parks in Florida are reopening.

This is good news for everyone stuck at home but it doesn’t mean you should let your guard down when leaving the house.

Keep reading below to learn the four essential rules for visiting local parks.

1. Practice Social Distancing at Local Parks

Coronavirus is spread through close contact: shaking hands, touching surfaces, or breathing in respiratory droplets when someone sneezes or coughs.

If you plan on visiting your local park, practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet away from other people. Senior citizens or people with compromised immune systems should consider wearing a mask to be safe.

Here are some social distancing tips:

  1. Don’t gather in crowds
  2. Don’t walk side-by-side on paths or trails
  3. Don’t use public water fountains, bring your own water
  4. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

Reach out to your local Parks and Recreation Departments to find out what parks are open and whether they require additional measures.

Here’s a list of open parks as of April, but double-check before leaving your house because things are changing fast.

2. Wash Your Hands as Often as Possible

As a novel virus, researchers don’t know much about COVID-19. All they can do is compare it to previous viruses as they collect more information.

What they know so far is the coronavirus can live on surfaces for up to three days, meaning you should avoid touching park facilities and wash your hands frequently.

Washing your hands is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent a viral spread. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends washing your hands before eating, using the bathroom, or when you sneeze or cough.

Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

3. Avoid Public Playgrounds and Organized Sports

Even though many parks are now open to the public, parts of them will remain closed. These include playgrounds and public courts for basketball or volleyball.

Playgrounds pose a risk for children who may forget to practice social distancing or touch infected surfaces. With social distancing in effect, officials don’t want visitors to play team sports either.

As we mentioned earlier, avoid crowds. If you’re going to the park to walk or jog, stick to open spaces.

4. Stay Home If You Don’t Feel Well

Monitoring your health can help contain the spread of COVID-19. If you don’t feel well, stay home.

Common symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. You won’t know for sure if you have the coronavirus unless you’re tested. Keep in mind some people may have different symptoms or be asymptomatic carriers.

Symptoms can show up between 2 and 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Can I Go Safely Outside During Quarantine?

Stay-at-home orders have been tough on everyone and we know you’re itching to get outside. If visiting local parks, follow the guidelines listed above and contact your specific park to verify all details.

Have you considered hiking in Florida? There are over 1,400 miles of trails and in most cases, you won’t run into other people. You’ll be able to get outside and enjoy nature while social distancing.

Read more of our outdoor blog for tips on paddle boarding, fishing, camping, and hiking in the beautiful state of Florida.