Tuesday, April 7, 2020
April 7, 2020

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Clark County Public Health: Staying 6-feet apart key to stopping virus spread

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

It can be hard to understand what is and isn’t allowed under social-distancing recommendations as new restrictions have rolled out over the past couple of weeks.

In an attempt to clarify what Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order means for residents and everyday activities, The Columbian submitted questions to Clark County Public Health asking for some community guidance.

The gist of the responses, which came from Public Information Officer Marissa Armstrong, is that staying 6 feet away from others is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19.

It’s also important to restrict household visitors, even if you’re hosting fewer than 10 and you can keep distance from each other.

“If you have people in your house, they are talking, coughing and sneezing in your home,” she said. “COVID-19 is spread via respiratory droplets. If someone coughs or sneezes, those droplets are then deposited all over your house. If you touch those surfaces, then your face, you’re exposing yourself to the virus.”

Here are answers to some other common questions.

Is it OK to go on a hike? What’s the threshold for how populated a trail or park area needs to be for someone to turn around?

Yes, it’s OK to go on a hike, just keep social distancing in mind. If you can’t keep space — at least 6 feet — between yourself and others, then it’s too crowded to safely hike there. Consider visiting a less popular park or trail, where you can exercise while keeping distance between yourself and others.

(All state-managed parks, wildlife areas and water access areas are closed beginning today for the next two weeks, in response to Inslee’s order.)

What forms of exercise are recommended right now?

Exercise where you can maintain a safe distance (at least 6 feet) between yourself and others: going for a walk around the neighborhood, hiking on a trail that’s not overcrowded, playing games in your backyard with household members, using exercise equipment at home, and watching exercise videos and classes online.

Is it OK to shoot hoops with a friend right now, or throw a football, baseball or Frisbee?

We recommend not engaging in activities in which people from different households touch an object, such as a football, baseball or Frisbee.

Is it OK to stand 6-feet apart in your front yard and drink a beer with a neighbor, or have a cookout?

The key is to remember social distancing. If you cannot keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others, then you shouldn’t do it.

Is it OK to ride your bike around the neighborhood?

Yes.

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