Warren County urges hikers to ‘stop the spread’ while out in nature

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(NEWS10) – Warren County is asking that walkers and hikers looking to clock some outdoors time during the COVID-19 pandemic take care when doing so. On Friday, the county announced a new trail safety initiative.

“We know and appreciate the benefits of exploring the outdoors, enjoying fresh air and appreciating the beauty of our natural resources,” said Frank Thomas, chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors. “Warren County invites you to do so safely to protect yourself, your fellow adventurers, and the public safety officers who are looking out for all of us.  Please recreate using the guidelines we are issuing today.”

The county issued a list of steps those in the great outdoors can take to lessen their risk of coming into contact with, or of spreading, coronavirus. The hashtag #TrailsPledgeWarrenCounty is being shared on social media as a way to vocalize support of and dedication to social distancing.

The list includes:

  • Stay local and keep visits short;
  • Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members;
  • Maintain distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads, and scenic overlooks;
  • Avoid games and activities that require close contact, such as basketball, football, or soccer;
  • Avoid playground equipment like slides and swings and other frequently touched surfaces; note that most local playgrounds are closed.
  • Do not share equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, balls, or Frisbees;
  • If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail, or return another time/day to visit; and
  • If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas. To protect your safety and that of others, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available.
  • Those over 70 or with compromised immune systems, or who are ill, should avoid going to public areas until further notice.

The county has a “recreation mapper” program online, which can be used to find outdoor resources like trails, parks and preserves.

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