Man sitting alone at Swallow Falls, MD

It's a sentiment that has been echoed countless times during this novel coronavirus quarantine: we need to be exercising and going outside to keep our sanity.

Can You Go Outside?

Staying at home is essential to reduce the spread of coronavirus, but that doesn't mean you need to be locked up in your home every minute of the day.

You can still get outside, but it's important to be safe while getting some fresh air.

To protect others, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear a homemade face mask in public settings.

Keep in mind that if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) or are under quarantine because of exposure to or symptoms of the virus, you should not go out into public spaces at all.

Going Outdoors Safely

However, if you are well and want to get some fresh air, here's what you need to be doing to protect yourself and others from the virus.

  • Be respectful of public places that are closed right now. These closures are for your safety.
  • Be sure you are practicing social distancing by being six feet from another person.
  • Avoid crowded places. Do not host or attend any gatherings that are over 10 people. 
  • Continue to cover a cough or sneeze when outside. It is also not a good idea to spit outside. Novel coronavirus travels in droplets produced by coughing or sneezing. Letting the droplets fly into the air could potentially infect other people nearby.
  • Put dirty tissues in your own trash can, not on the ground.
  • Avoid contact with shared surfaces and objects when possible. For example, don't let your kids play on park jungle gyms, don't drink from public fountains and avoid touching or sitting on park benches.
  • Avoid sporting equipment and activities that involve lots of people touching one object. For example, playing catch with a baseball or football.
  • When you come in, be sure to wash your hands.

What to Do Outside

  • Take sidewalk chalk and create a hopscotch grid on a driveway or sidewalk.
  • Take a walk or jog. Dogs everywhere are enjoying the extra walks!
  • Jump rope. You can be clever with what you use as rope.
  • Go on a bike ride — just don't forget your helmet.
  • Practice your tennis stroke on a wall.
  • Take your phone and practice your photography skills by taking landscape photos.
  • Eat a meal or snack outside.
  • Even just sit outside and soak up some sunshine.
  • Dig in the dirt. Plant something in your yard or in a pot.
  • Sit out in your front yard or porch and say hello to your neighbors (from a distance) as they get some fresh air too.