COVID-19 Safety, Recovery and Resilience

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News Blog: Stay Safe While Enjoying the Outdoors

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Protect yourself and others by physical distancing and wearing masks
On the image's right side, people cross the street wearing masks. On the left side, people are seated at tables under umbrellas. A fence keeps the street closed to car traffic.
It's important to stay physically distant from other people and to wear a mask or cloth face covering when you can (Photo: PBOT)

(July 2, 2020) With warmer summer weather and long, sunny days, it’s nice to get outside. Fresh air, sunshine, and movement are good for our physical and mental wellbeing. However, it’s important to remember to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a mask or a cloth face covering is a simple and straightforward way to protect yourself and others while walking, biking, or rolling around Portland.   

It’s especially important to wear a face mask or covering if you can’t maintain a physical distance of six feet from people that you don’t live with.   

Governor Brown launched a statewide awareness campaign about the importance of wearing masks when out in public. You can read more about the Governor’s guidelines here or watch the “A Mask is Just a Mask” Public Service Announcement here.  

There’s a lot that we’re still learning about COVID-19. Scientists are studying how far respiratory droplets can spread, especially during exercise like running. In the meantime, it’s important to take precautions to keep yourself and others safe.  

When you're out on the trails or multi-use paths, you can keep either a mask with ties or a bandana around your neck that you can easily pull up around your mouth and nose if you encounter other people. If you are walking or biking around others who are not in your household, and cannot maintain 6ft, you should be prepared to wear a mask. Remember, Governor Brown has required that masks be worn in public indoor spaces. 

A yellow floral mask against a white background. Black text reads "A Mask is Just a Mask"
Governor Brown's new awareness campaign emphasizes how important masks are to saving lives. (Video: Wieden+Kennedy)

If you choose to wear a face covering, make sure that you’re able to breathe. If your face mask becomes too damp or sweaty, remove it and wash it when you get home. Check out this video from Portland Parks and Recreation for step-by-step instructions on how to make your own no-sew mask.    

Stay close to home when you go out. PBOT’s Safe Streets Initiative allows neighborhood greenways to become local-access only streets, so neighbors can use the streets to walk, bike, and play. You don’t have to go far to find space.   

When planning social events, make sure to consider the risks, setting, and guests. Outdoor settings are best. Keep gatherings as small as possible, maintain a 6 foot distance from those who are not in your household, and wear a mask when you’re not eating.  

Finally, stay home if you’re sick or not feeling well.   

We can get outside and move while taking precautions to keep ourselves and others safe. Stay physically distant from people that you don’t live with and wear a mask when out in public. By doing our part, we can all enjoy the sunshine.  

Dark blue background with images of blue, red, and white balls joined on string. Yellow text reads "Social Events and COVID-19. When planning a get together, consider: Risk, Setting, and Guests.: