How to Stay Safe During a Socially Distant Summer

Amy Barczy

| 3 min read

Amy Barczy is a former brand journalist who authored content...

Family getting splashed at a water park
Summer is upon us – but in the middle of a global pandemic, it’s going to come with a new set of new approaches to consider to stay safe while having fun in the sun. Many states, including Michigan, have loosened restrictions to allow typical summer activities like pools and drive-in movie theaters to re-open. Staying six feet away from others outside your household and wearing a face covering in crowded public situations are the two golden standards this summer. There are some measures to take to respect the health of those around you, and the health of you and your family.

At the pool

There is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through the water used in pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds, according to the CDC. Proper operation and disinfection of pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds should kill the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the CDC. The CDC advises parents and guardians consider whether children can stay at least six feet away from others outside their household when venturing out to the pool. Additionally, sharing equipment, toys or supplies like sunscreen with others from outside your household is a no-go. When not in the water, the CDC advises swimmers to wear a face covering – especially if social distancing is difficult. At common areas like restrooms or concession stands, put on a face covering just as you would in other public places like the grocery store.

At the beach

Spending time at the beach can be done safely if it’s possible to socially distance. The more people parking their gear for the day at a beach, the riskier it is to stay. Find a more isolated area, go in the morning, walk the beach or limit your time. And if the beach is getting crowded and social distancing is not easy anymore, put on a face covering to protect others. At common areas like restrooms or concession stands, put on a face covering just as you would in other public places like the grocery store.

At the playground

When taking children to the playground, understand that children do not socially distance from one another. Do your best to keep six feet away from people from other households, and wear face coverings. The CDC recommends cloth face coverings for everyone age two years and up. Babies and children under the age of two years should not have their faces covered. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol before and after visiting the playground. If a playground is too crowded, it may be time to leave. The CDC advises that spraying disinfectant on outdoor playgrounds hasn’t been proven to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

At a picnic or in the park

In a park, be sure to socially distance yourself from other groups of people. The more people gathering – even outside – raises the risk for coronavirus to spread. If a public space outside is getting crowded and social distancing isn’t possible, put on a face covering. If hosting a picnic outside, stay away from family-style grazing where people return to a dish over and over – take your food and then stay away from the food table.

Consider staying close to home

Traveling this summer will look different, even if you’re driving across the state. Check the local restrictions along your travel route, and at your destination.

Stay home if you’re sick

As always, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are being tested for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home. More from
Photo credit: kali9
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association