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What’s the COVID-19 Risk of Common Summertime Activities in Oklahoma City?

As summer shines brightly in Oklahoma, fears caused by the coronavirus remain, which might mean your family is wondering about the safety of common summertime activities in Oklahoma City.

While social distancing is still encouraged, many events and recreational activities in Oklahoma City are slowly opening back up to the public. From public swimming pools to events at Scissortail Park, families are very ready to get out of the house and venture to these hotspots for a little summer fun. While this summer is certainly different from a “normal” one in the city, the good news is there are many summer activities that remain quite safe with a little advance planning.

COVID-19 risks of popular summer activities in OKC

According to health officials, any activity carries a risk of exposure to the coronavirus, but the risks are minimal if precautions are taken.

For instance, those with underlying health conditions and those over the age of 65 are still considered at increased risk of serious illness from the coronavirus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts say that physical distancing, like staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and wearing a face covering, can help mitigate those risks. In addition, many outdoor activities pose a lower risk than indoor activities.

Playing in the water: The CDC says pools and beaches may be a safer summer activity as the virus has not been shown to survive in water or treated pools. Most Oklahoma City public swimming facilities have instituted reduced admittance and safety protocols. Keeping a distance of 6 feet from other families is still recommended.

Hiking and camping: Both are considered low risk, as long as families maintain a distance from other people and wear a mask when passing others on a trail.

Outdoor sports: When it’s easy to maintain social distancing, like golf or tennis, outdoor sports are considered low risk, says the CDC.

Visiting parks: The CDC says visiting parks that are close to home is encouraged, but families should prepare before a visit. You should not visit parks or crowded recreational areas if you are sick or have been recently exposed to COVID-19. Playing on public playground equipment or participating in group activities is still discouraged.

State and local authorities are deciding whether parks and other recreational facilities are opening. Check with the park in advance to be sure you know which areas or services are open, such as bathroom facilities and concessions, and bring what you need with you such as sanitizer, wipes and masks, says the CDC.

The National Park Service will decide on an individual park basis when to open, so check in advance before you go. Most of the National Parks will have limited access to visitor centers and concessions, and bathroom facilities might be closed.

Don’t forget important safety measures

No matter where you go or what activities your family will enjoy this summer, the CDC says you should follow the following recommendations. 

  • Stay 6 feet away from others through social distancing. 
  • Avoid visiting a crowded area or large gatherings.
  • Avoid close proximity with others outside of your household.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Bring hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol to use if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid using playgrounds.
  • Wearing a mask is encouraged.

Summer activities in Oklahoma City

Many events in Oklahoma City are open for the summer. Youth camps, public parks, community pools and recreational activities are available with some restrictions. Here are some of the fun summer activities open in Oklahoma City.

  • The Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Summer Camp program opened its Fit for Youth Summer Program on May 26 and will offer weekly programs through August. Activities at Fit for Youth include sports, arts, swimming, recreational activities, nature and a weekly field trip.
  • The Summer Skateboard Clinics are planned for this summer. The clinics are an introduction to skateboarding for newbies. The class includes focus on basic safety, park etiquette and building foundational skills for further development. The camps are limited to 12 skaters.
  • All areas of Scissortail Park in downtown Oklahoma City are open. The park continues to take active measures in the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 under the current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the City of Oklahoma City emergency declarations.
  • The OKC YMCA Summer Day Camps opened on June 1 within the guidelines established by the CDC, American Camp Association, YUSA, and state and local health departments.
  • The YMCA Overnight Camp Classen offers four sessions through July.
  • The Oklahoma City Zoological Park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but online registrations are required.
  • Riversport Rapids and Adventure in the Boathouse District downtown has also opened RIVERSPORT whitewater rafting, kayaking and tubing plus the Sky Trail, Sky Slides and Youth Zone in the Boathouse District. Kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding are also available at Lake Overholser and Lake Hefner. Reservations are required in advance for the whitewater rafting.
  • The Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County has also resumed its summer camp program, but reservations are required.
  • Frontier City opened June 8, but advanced reservations are required. Hurricane Harbor is still temporarily closed.

Be careful, stay safe

You can still enjoy summer activities by practicing social distancing and taking other steps to protect your health. Outdoor activities and limited exposure will give your family the hot weather fun they crave, but always plan ahead to reduce the risk of exposure.

Looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe from the coronavirus? Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center to learn more.

 

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