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KUNC is here to keep you up-to-date on the news about COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — Colorado's response to its spread in our state and its impact on Coloradans.

Into The Wild: An Etiquette Guide For Getting Outdoors During Stay-At-Home Orders

Karlie Huckels
Big Thompson River Trail.

State officials, including Gov. Jared Polis, recommend Coloradans get outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical activity not only helps improve overall general health, but being outdoors boosts vitamin levels, reduces anxiety and helps your immune system. As more people hit the trails and flock to our state's beautiful outdoor areas, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has put out a new release outlining park and trail etiquette during this trying time.

CPW and other parks and wildlife officials want park visitors to enjoy our natural areas responsibly. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

If you are sick, stay home.
CPW encourages people heading outdoors to follow CDC guidelines to avoid spreading the virus.

Maintain social distance from others.
The recommended distance to keep between yourself and others is six feet.

Avoid high-risk or remote activities.
To avoid using extensive resources during an already hard time, CPW says to avoid high-risk activities and going out alone. While Colorado Search and Rescue teams are prepared and ready to respond, they could become overloaded if the number of calls increases while the number of available responders decreases. CPW says being responsible outdoors can help prevent additional burdens on first responders and healthcare workers.

Announce your presence to others.
To help maintain social distancing, announce your presence by signaling others using your voice or a bell.

Stay regional.
Front Range residents should avoid traveling to the high country or small mountain communities and vice versa to curb the spreading of the virus.

Avoid times and places of high use.
CPW encourages people to use less popular spots, avoid peak usage times, and to abstain from creating large crowds or groups on popular outdoor trails and areas. There are many trails in our Colorado communities, so if a parking lot is full or an area seems crowded, CPW says do not hesitate to adjust your plans and recommends using COTREX to discover new trails.

Practice good hand hygiene.
Wash your hands and cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow. Larimer County Natural Resources Public Information Supervisor Korrie Johnston encourages people to bring the resources they need to protect themselves and others, including adding hand sanitizer to their essentials list.

Be kind, say hi.
With a lot of uncertainty around how long the pandemic will impact our communities and our lives, a smile and a wave goes a long way. Being kind will help us get through this time together (from a safe distance of six feet, of course).

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