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The dos and don’ts of social distancing outside

Assistant Division Director of Communicable Disease Stephanie Dunkel
by Stephanie Dunkel04/17/2020 4:41 p.m.
Updated: 04/20/2020

The birds are singing. The tulips are in bloom. Your allergies are acting up. 

Congratulations! You made it through another Pacific Northwest winter.  

It’s OK to go outside and enjoy the sun. But you need to protect yourself and others while Gov. Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is in effect. 

Remember how COVID-19 spreads. 

COVID-19 spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks and droplets from their mouth or nose land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. It’s possible to be infected but have no symptoms. 

You could also get sick if you touch a surface with the virus on it, then touch your mouth, nose or eyes. But the CDC says that isn’t the main way COVID-19 spreads. 

Here’s how to get some fresh air, enjoy the spring weather and stay safe at the same time. 

Stay close to home. 

DO walk, run or bike in your neighborhood. 

DO garden, yard work or exercise in your own yard. 

DO use sidewalk chalk to create hopscotch grids. Make sure to clear out when people walk by. 

DON’T drive to your outdoor activity or destination. Stay close to home if you want to be outside.  

DON’T go to parks and trails closed to the public.  

A man running

Stay physically distant. 

DO keep 6 feet away from anyone who does not live with you. 

DO wear a mask if you can’t maintain 6 feet of separation. 

DON’T play team or contact sports with anyone outside your household. 

DON’T arrange playdates. 

DON’T linger. DO keep it short. 

Stay safe. 

DON’T leave the house if you’re sick.  

DON’T touch public surfaces like benches or playgrounds.  

DO bring hand sanitizer when you go outside. 

  1. Updated: 04/20/2020
Assistant Division Director of Communicable Disease Stephanie Dunkel

by Stephanie Dunkel

Stephanie helps lead our work to keep your family safe from communicable diseases.


We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider.