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DNREC gives tips to enjoy outdoors safely during coronavirus period

March 26, 2020

With entrance fees to Delaware State Parks and state wildlife areas currently waived, Delawareans are getting outside to stay active and healthy.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control offers a few tips for enjoying the outdoors safely during the COVID-19 period: 

  • Keep social distance, even when outside. Enjoy less-crowded areas. Limit groups to fewer than 10 people and keep at least 6 feet away from other visitors.
  • Avoid close-contact activities. Instead, fish, hike, paddleboard, ride a bicycle or explore nature.
  • Don’t rent or share sports equipment. Use only one’s own binoculars, bike, fishing rod, golf disc, kayak, yoga mat and so forth.
  • Wipe down sports equipment before and after use. Disinfect gear with federal recommended products including diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol, and EPA-registered household disinfectants.
  • Avoid playgrounds. Delaware State Parks has closed all its playgrounds, but they may still be open in other areas. Surfaces like slides and swings have a lot of touch points that could potentially spread the virus.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash hands. Use soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. If there is no access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer until hands can be washed.
  • If sick, stay home. If people are sick or have been sick in the past two weeks, they should stay home to recuperate.

“If you choose to get outside, please take precautions to protect yourself, your family and your community,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Whether you’re spending time in your own backyard or exploring our state’s nature areas, practice social distancing and be safe. And please watch for possible changing announcements in the interest of public health and safety.”

Delaware State Parks offers Play Outside, a map-based, mobile-friendly app that helps visitors find parks, natural areas, trails and more. Filter the search by county and facility to find appropriate options during the coronavirus period. As a reminder, the public is currently prohibited from accessing beaches except to exercise or walk their dogs where dogs are permitted. Beach access from within Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island state parks is prohibited at this time. Parking and fishing at the Indian River Inlet within Delaware Seashore State Park is permitted.

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