With warmer weather and gradual reopening of Niagara County, the Niagara County Department of Health encourages individuals to enjoy the outdoors safely during COVID-19. “Getting outdoors to experience nature and exercise, especially during this uncertain time, can be beneficial to physical, mental, and emotional health,” stated Daniel J. Stapleton, Public Health Director. “We want to remind everyone to do it safely,” he added. The virus is spread mainly by close proximity with other people, primarily through respiratory droplets that people can exhale. As businesses and parks are opening, it is especially important that precautions are taken to include social distancing, hand washing, and using face coverings to help prevent people from fromgetting sick.

The Niagara County Department of Health partnered with Niagara County Parks to create and place new signs in county parks. The signs include social distancing key points. “We are pleased to partner with public health to ensure the public safely enjoys the many wonderful parks Niagara County has to offer,” stated Garret A. Meal, Commissioner of Public Works. For a list of county parks and to check their status, visit: https://www.niagaracounty.com/parks/. Visit a favorite park, or try a new one. There is so much to enjoy and explore the outdoors.

During the pandemic, following key tips for enjoying the outdoors safely:

  • Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, do not go. If it is crowded, have an alternate place to you can go to
  • Prepare for facilities to be closed. Pack a lunch and bring protective items like hand sanitizer and a face covering.
  • Maintain a physical distance of at least six (6) feet from people who are not members of your household – including at trailheads, scenic areas and in parking
  • Respect public lands and communities. Ensure proper disposal of garbage to include masks, gloves, etc.
  • Stay home if you are sick or may have had contact with someone who is.

For more information about how to visit parks and recreational facilities safely, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life- coping/visitors.html.