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The original item was published from 9/28/2021 8:54:44 AM to 1/1/2022 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: September 28, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Media Release COVID-19 - September 28, 2021

For Immediate Release


COVID-19 Information

Phone: 980-432-1800

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How to Safely Enjoy Fall Activities with COVID Still Lurking

You can still enjoy fall’s signature activities safely during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, if you’re smart and plan ahead.

According to Dr. Neha Vyas, “There are still plenty of things you can safely do, you just need to take precautions to protect yourself and those around you, which from time to time, might mean passing on an event or activity if those precautions can’t be followed.”

Even if you have been vaccinated, you should keep doing all the things you’ve been doing like maintaining at least six feet from other people, wearing a face mask, using hand sanitizer, and practicing hand washing.

And if you haven’t been vaccinated, you should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Also, for those who are 65 or older and those individuals that are immunocompromised, it’s important to get the booster shot as soon as you can.

“The more people that get vaccinated, the sooner we can reach herd immunity,” says Dr. Vyas. “We can protect those most vulnerable and eventually if we have enough of a critical mass, we’ll be able to return to our pre-pandemic lives.”

The following advice and modifications should allow you and your family to have a fun fall; but more importantly, a safe fall:

  • Haunted houses, hayrides and corn mazes. Many of these outings are group-oriented, which doesn’t mix well with COVID-19. If you choose to participate in these activities, you might be required to make a reservation for a specific time, so call before you go so there’s no surprises. Wear your face mask and be sure to ask about disinfecting, capacity and social distancing, plus who will be monitoring these guidelines. Also, don’t be afraid to leave if protocols aren’t being followed.
  • Apple picking or visiting a pumpkin patch. Apple and pumpkin farms are popular autumn attractions; and with a little preparation and vigilance, these experiences can be safely enjoyed this year. Call ahead before visiting and ask about any guidelines and precautions. If you can, try to visit during non-peak hours and always bring your face mask and hand sanitizer with you
  • Fairs and agricultural shows. In many areas, fairs and animal shows are back. (The risk of animal-to-person spread of COVID-19 is considered very low, but there’s always potential risk.) If a fair is happening in your area, make sure you know the level of COVID risk for your region and follow the guidelines set by officials, like wearing a face mask and social distancing. Remember, the larger the crowd and the longer people interact, the higher the potential risk becomes of becoming infected with COVID. 
  • Fall sporting events. While most sporting events, especially outdoor ones, have returned full force some may ask for proof of vaccination. As a parent at a school sporting event, lead by example when it comes to following protocol. Wear a face mask, maintain social distance, and encourage those around you to do the same. Researchers have found that an event with 100 people, there is an 87% chance someone in the crowd has COVID. That number increases to 99% when 500 or more people are present. Also Duke University School of Medicine has confirmed with their research that the bigger the crowd and the tighter people are packed in together, the worst the risk is in becoming sick with COVID.

There are still lots of opportunities for fun! It’s definitely a lesson we have had to learn over the past year and a half—we can still enjoy some activities; but at the same time, safety is the most important thing we need to continue to worry about.

In addition to fall festivals and sporting events, there’s still time to enjoy the great outdoors and local parks this fall, so take a hike and pack a picnic. Enjoy a family car ride to see the fall foliage when the weather turns cool. Rake leaves, carve a pumpkin, and/or warm up next to a campfire on a crisp night.

Coronavirus doesn’t have to take all the fun out of everything. We can still practice and respect the safety guidelines needed to stop the spread of COVID, while still experiencing things that bring us joy as the weather gets cooler, the days get shorter, and the leaves provide a wonderful burst of color.


PIO Contact:
Amy Smith

Download Media Release COVID-19 - September 28, 2021 (PDF)

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