It’s an exciting time in southern Illinois as the forecast predicts a warm weekend, but health officials are reminding communities that COVID-19 and other viruses do not take a break during nice weather.
Some state parks opened today and the HSHS southern Illinois hospitals of HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospitals in Breese and Highland, and HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville encourage park-goers to allow for social distancing even outdoors.
Fresh air is good for the soul, but please make sure to enjoy the outdoors safely – either alone or with people from your household. Continue to stay more than six feet away from others for your safety and theirs. It is also a good idea to bring hand sanitizer with you during outings since soap and water may not be accessible everywhere.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, viruses, like those that cause the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months, however there is no evidence to determine if that also applies to COVID-19. Regardless, the CDC recommends proactive outdoor safety measures during this uncertain time.
Because parks are expected to be busier this weekend, it’s also recommended by the CDC that you bring a cloth face covering in the event you are near others outside of your household.