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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Shelby Farms Park, State Parks still open during pandemic

You can enjoy fresh air while still practicing social distancing.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Social distancing and isolation have been underway for a week now and people may be feeling stir crazy.

Currently, Shelby Farms Park and state parks like Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park are still open in limited ways.

If you're healthy and go out, social distancing standards still apply. Maintain six feet of distance between people. Early studies show coronavirus can stay in the air for up to three hours in closed spaces, so it's still vital to not follow behind people, even in the case of being distant.

At Shelby Farms, the visitor’s center, public restrooms, and bike and boat rentals are closed, but trails remain open for walking, running or bringing your own bike.

"All of the trails are open. Open spaces are open. The park is a resource. It's so important for people to have access to recreational activities for both your physical and mental health. Not only right now, but for your long-term health," Rebecca Dailey, Shelby Farms Park Communications Specialist, said.

As Dailey points out, the park has 4,500 acres of green space and 40 miles of trails.

"There is room for you to be in the park while practicing safe social distancing," she said.

Playgrounds and fitness areas, this goes for everywhere, should be considered off-limits. They are not clean.

According to the National Institute of Health, coronavirus can live on the surface of plastic and steel for three hours.

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Coronavirus in Context: 

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80-percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.