Residents of Portland, Ore., can still get outside right now, as the city said this week that area parks will remain open for the time being.
“We’ve heard a lot from families and from parents about how the kids need to get some energy out,” Holly Thompson, spokeswoman for the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Department, told The Oregonian. “Please feel free if you need to get a breath of fresh air, if you’re healthy, if you’re not symptomatic.”
While many everyday social experiences are not recommended in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, getting outside is actually a good thing to do.
“Actually, being outside is a healthy thing to do in this environment,” said Paula Fasano Negele, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. “You’re social distancing when you’re outdoors, it’s good for your mental health, and it’s good for your physical health right now, so I think it’s probably a good thing to do.”
The Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Department closed all park buildings, including pools, community centers and offices. All upcoming events, classes and spring break camps were also canceled. Parks and playgrounds, however, remain open.
“The parks and trails are open, and we strongly encourage people to follow social distancing,” Thompson said.
Public health officials still recommend staying indoors if you’re sick or experiencing symptoms.
Thompson recommends residents who do venture out to the parks bring their own sanitary wipes to clean off playground equipment, as well as door handles and portable toilets, before using them.