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Countless people are experiencing cabin fever secondary to the protection measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As restrictions loosen, people are venturing outdoors in greater numbers to enjoy the warming weather and recreation opportunities. Families might plan a day at the beach. By taking the appropriate precautions, individuals are at a lowered risk of becoming infected with the contagious virus.

Maintain Social Distancing

When out in public, keeping a minimum of six feet from other people remains a primary means of preventing infection. When at the beach, maintain the six-foot distance whether on the shoreline or in the water. Young children must be schooled to understand the risks and how to stay safe. Uninfected family and friends must remain together. Do not share food, beverages, eating utensils or other personal items with anyone outside of the group. Bring hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Environmental Hazard Myths and Risks

Some have proposed that the wind may spread COVID-19 containing droplets through the air. However, epidemiologists report that the droplets are too heavy to fly far in the wind. They are more than likely to drop quickly to the ground due to gravity. Others fear that the water may contain the virus. But, the salty water of coastal locations has ravaging effects on the microbes. The virus cannot survive in seawater. The freshwater of inland lakes, rivers and streams dilute the virus, which reduces the risk of acquiring an infection.

On the other hand, public bathrooms, changing rooms and concession stands are another matter. Keep a safe distance from others. Make sure to use a tissue or wear gloves before touching door handles, faucets or other surfaces that might harbor contaminants. All need to wash their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before eating or drinking. Avoid playgrounds. The surfaces on playground equipment may harbor the virus. As children touch playground equipment and touch their eyes or mouth, the risk of virus exposure and subsequent infection increases.

Before traveling to a local beach, families must also check to determine if restrictions have been lifted from the destination. If the favorite beachfront seems overly crowded with people not concerned about safety, it is better to wait another day rather than taking the risk.