If you’ve been watching the news throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, you may feel it’s not safe to go anywhere right now. “Current evidence suggests that COVID-19 spreads between people through direct, indirect (through contaminated objects or surfaces), or close contact with infected people via mouth and nose secretions,” warns the World Health Organization (WHO).
The only way to avoid these potentially infected secretions is to stay away from people…and places. But if you’re getting stir-crazy and need to get out into the real world, there are a few places with low risk for contracting coronavirus. Check out these seven places you could check out without a high risk of infection. And to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
A Small Outdoor Gathering
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests “virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings” for no risk of contracting COVID-19. However, the organization ranks a “small outdoor-only gathering” as relatively low-risk for contracting coronavirus. Keep the guest count low and enjoy the great outdoors with only a few friends who have been taking the pandemic seriously and you’re not putting yourself at a great risk for infection. And wear your face mask and stay six feet apart.
A Local Park
Large parks offer plenty of opportunities for social distancing and fresh air. Since you’re outside, respiratory droplets are more easily dispersed, lowering your risk for contracting COVID-19. Visit parks that aren’t usually crowded or only visit during off-times, such as the middle of a weekday.
You should consider only visiting “parks and recreation areas that are close to your home,” according to the CDC. If your area is known for a low transmission rate but you travel to an area with a high transmission rate, you’re increasing your risk for infection. Therefore, it’s best to stick to your local favorites.
Camping With Family
If you’re itching to travel and sightsee, camping may be one of the safest ways to get out there, especially if you stick with your family. “Staying in smaller groups is safer. Stay away from people you don’t know,” according to Dr. Matthew Sims, MD from Beaumont Health.
You may encounter people while walking around the campground, in the ranger’s station, or in the campground bathroom. In these situations, try to social distance and always wear your face mask.
A Drive-In Movie
Movie theaters are slowly reopening at limited capacity in some parts of the country. But if you’re still intimidated by the risk of contracting COVID-19 in an enclosed and potentially crowded theater, you may be able to have a cinematic experience from the safety of your own vehicle. When you attend a drive-in movie and stay in your car with only your family members, your risk is low for contracting coronavirus.
According to Statistica, in 2019, there were only 321 fully-operational drive-in theaters in the U.S. However, these establishments may make a comeback in the time of COVID and many recreational facilities and public parks are turning their community spaces into drive-in theaters as well.
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A Vacation Rental
If you’re ready to get out of town, staying in a vacation rental may be a low-risk choice. Consider only traveling with a small group of family members or friends who you know have been following stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines.
Before deciding on a destination, review transmission rates and skip the locations that are experiencing a high volume of COVID-19 transmission. Also, review the local mandated guidelines and the rental home’s sanitation policy. For example, in Palm Beach County, Florida, short-term rental hosts are required to check guests in and out remotely when possible, and clean and disinfect all surfaces thoroughly.
A Friend’s Pool
Heading over to a friend’s house to hang outside and swim in their pool is much safer than going to a crowded public pool or splash pad. However, before you throw on your swim trunks, confirm with your friend that they’ve been following CDC guidelines, such as social distancing or staying at home. You should also avoid physical contact with your friend and remain outside for the duration of your visit to keep infection risk low, according to the CDC.
Your Living Room
While there are many places you can go that are low risk for contracting coronavirus, the only way to completely mitigate your risk is to stay at home. If you’re worried about the virus, you’re at high risk for severe illness, or a close family member or friend is at high risk for a severe case of the virus, it’s best to stay away from public places during the pandemic. Binge on Netflix, bake another loaf of sourdough bread, or have a video chat happy hour with your favorite co-workers to ensure you’re safe from infection. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.