It’s Memorial Day Weekend and many are ready to kick off their summers - especially those who have been stuck inside for months. But if you live in a state that’s been hard hit by COVID-19, the need to be careful is especially important.
Small gatherings may be safe, if proper social distancing is practiced, and cross-contamination is avoided by foregoing community dishes and treats like shared bags of chips.
Here's how to celebrate summer’s unofficial beginning safely while still having fun.
Have fewer people over
"If you're going to have parties make sure it is with fewer people, fewer households, so that you're not part of the disease transmission chain," said Biologist Erin Bromage.
He also recommends wearing masks and practicing social distancing at gatherings.
"You can put an object between the two families, such as a big table, just essentially keep that six feet distance away from the other family," Bromage said.
Don't serve big dishes
As for food, avoid serving community dishes. For example, you don't want a lot of hands going into a big bag or bowl of chips. Instead, opt for individual portions.
Keep an eye on kids
Experts say chlorine in pool water should kill the virus, but people still need to be careful, especially with kids.
"In a pool all the same social distancing rules apply," Bromage said. "If you're bringing together children who are coming closer together and unable to stop themselves from wrestling, it's not a good idea."
Avoid contact sports
"Anything that brings two faces close together, such as basketball and a game of football, that's going to be a potential problem with people breathing and breathing in your face."
He said that multiple people tossing a ball to one another is not a good idea, because they could be passing the virus to all the players.
But golf should be OK, along with hiking and other non-contact activities.