From BBQs to swimming: Which summer activities pose the highest coronavirus risk?

Exposure risk for common summer activities

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The hot summer months here in the Magnolia State are officially upon us.

For many, summer means time spent by the water and attending social outings. But the Coronavirus outbreak could change the way we spend our summer days.

“Our plea as we move into the summer, as we open up more and more and give you more freedom, we are asking you to make good decisions,” said Governor Tate Reeves.

With rising temperatures here in the Magnolia State and nearly two months spent indoors, many are eager to cool off in a pool and take a trip to the beach. But there are certain summer activities that are riskier than others.

“Understand that social distancing, while a pain, is here to stay at least for the foreseeable future.”

Before you head outside and hit the pool this summer we asked Governor Tate Reeves and Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, an Infectious disease consultant with Baptist, to break down the coronavirus exposure risks for summer activities.

Things like BBQs:

“It depends on how close you are in those outside gatherings. The main thing is sharing common items, in addition to being too close together, where each of you touch the same thing and could contaminate your face,"said Dr. Threlkeld.

“There are degrees of risk. There is less risk in a BBQ of 8 people who are outdoors staying 6 to 8 feet apart,” said Governor Reeves.

What about a day at the beach or time spent by the pool?

“Going to a beach, being outside, and being by the water is not in itself an increased risk. It really comes down to what you are doing outside the water or even inside the water. If you are too close to each other.”

Summer is a popular time to book a hotel room or beach house and travel, but do so at your own risk.

“Traveling in itself can cause the virus to spread and get into our cities so we want to take steps so that does not happen. Those items that multiple people touch and handle, it is the same as shaking hands with 50 people. Make sure the common areas are wiped down and clean in a hotel room or places like that."

Dr. Threlkeld says common outdoor activities like picnics, playing at a park, or exercising are fine.

“Things that are outside are safer then things that are inside, better ventilation and better UV light. Things that viruses do not particularly like.”

Regardless of your big plans this summer.

“Make smart decisions, be safe, be careful, take care of yourself which ultimately takes care of your neighbors,” said Governor Reeves.

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