How to be safe outdoors during the pandemic

Health News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With all the warmer weather lately, many in the region will be outside with their families on Memorial Day. However there is still concern on staying safe and not spreading the virus.

Mark Gruba sat down and spoke with Dr. Colleen Fogarty, the Department Chair for the University of Rochester Department of Family Medicine, to talk about some safety measures to keep in mind when planning celebrations for the warm holiday.

Mark: So we’ve had a wonderful stretch of days here this Memorial Day weekend and we are talking about staying safe in the summertime, in this warm weather. People are heading outside. What type of precautions should we be taking?

Dr. Fogarty: It’s a really important question. New York State is still in a very early reopening phase out of an abundance of caution and really wanting to not spread the virus and not have a spike, so we are recommending the same social and physical distancing recommendations that have been in place – staying six feet away from others and consistently wearing a mask when going out and about.

Mark: When we get into areas where there are crowds, where we feel like it’s too crowded, what do we do at that point?

Dr. Fogarty: So it’s important to recognize that and change plans. Many parks and beaches are open and there will be processes for keeping crowds lower and social distancing, and if you get to a place that just looks too crowded in the parking lot or too crowded, change plans. There’s a lot of places that are less busy, more off the beaten track. Certainly folks who have yards can consider doing an event with their own household there, walking in the neighborhoods. Getting outside and staying active is extremely important and keeping in mind the social and physical distancing and mask-wearing remains crucial.

Mark: Having a mask and hand sanitizer is essential. This is don’t leave home without them territory.

Dr. Fogarty: That’s correct.

Mark: What other preparations should we make?

Dr. Fogarty: That’s right. If you’re planning to go out bring enough of your own water to stay hydrated so you don’t need to use a public fountain, packing you own snacks, and again that hand sanitizer so you can wash before eating and wash after touching any surfaces is really important. And keep in mind the usual safety around the sun – hats, long-sleeved shirts, sunscreen, insect repellant, and plenty of hydration, plenty of physical activity.

Mark: One more before we let you go doctor – you mentioned eating, it’s going to be tempting where you’ve got grills and barbecues going – we’re not sharing food, are we?

Dr. Fogarty: That’s right, and – of course – it’s human culture, we want to celebrate together with shared food and we just should not be doing that right now because of the virus, so bringing one’s own food, pre-pack it in an individual serving is the safest thing to do.

Mark: We’ll leave it there. Staying safe here in the summer – our prescription this morning. As always, doctor thank you!

Dr. Fogarty: Thank you.

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