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Posted on: May 1, 2020

Linn County Reminds Residents Social Distancing is Important Outdoors, Too

Linn County Public Health

Linn County Public Health thanks all residents that are following social distancing guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  As the weather becomes nicer and Iowans begin spending more time outside, it’s important to follow these guidelines in outdoor spaces too.

“We encourage residents to spend time outside when possible because it’s beneficial for both your mental and physical health,” said Linn County Public Health Director Dr. Pramod Dwivedi.  “Everyone needs to continue following social distancing guidelines when outdoors because close contact, even outside, can spread the virus that causes COVID-19.”  Cloth face coverings are also recommended for use when you leave your home, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.  “If you’re going outside, you should at least bring a mask with you.  A mask is one more precaution we can take to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but is not a substitute for physical distancing and other prevention measures,” Dwivedi explains.  

When spending time outdoors, all people should:

  • Maintain social distancing by keeping a distance of at least 6-feet between yourself and anyone you encounter outdoors.  Have a cloth face covering on hand for when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Spend time outdoors alone, or only with members of your household.  This is not the time for team sports or recreation.
  • Avoid popular parks and trails that are frequently crowded.
  • Avoid touching surfaces like crosswalk buttons, park benches, etc. Carry hand sanitizer with you so you can clean your hands while outside, and be sure to wash your hands as soon as you return home.

In addition, everyone should follow these recommendations:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • If you must go out for essential errands like getting groceries or prescriptions, go alone if possible and maintain social distancing.
  • Practice social distancing by staying 6-feet away from other individuals.  Avoid groups of more than 10 people.
  • Consider wearing a cloth face covering when running essential errands to protect others in case you are infected with COVID-19 and have no symptoms, or have not yet developed symptoms.

As of today, May 1 at 3:10 PM, there are 703 cases of COVID-19 in Linn County.  Linn County Public Health continues to work closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and other state and local partners to respond to this ongoing pandemic.


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Linn County Public Health, an agency within Linn County government, serves more than 225,000 residents of Linn County to prevent disease and injury, promote healthy living, protect the environment, and ensure public health preparedness. Learn more at linncounty.org/health or by calling 319-892-6000. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LCPublicHealth and follow us on Twitter @LCPublicHealth.

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