RED BUD, Ill. – To encourage Southern Illinoisans to take advantage of safe outdoor recreation during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, state Rep. Nathan Reitz, D-Steeleville, is highlighting the governor’s decision to reopen all state parks at the end of the month.
“Outdoor recreation like hiking, fishing and other activities are part of daily life for many Southern Illinoisans and are great ways to relieve stress during this difficult time,” said Reitz. “More importantly, outdoor activities can be done while maintaining social distancing, so they are safe to do during the COVID-19 health crisis as long as you follow guidelines on preventing exposure and spread of the virus.”
Reitz is highlighting the governor’s decision to allow Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to reopen all state parks, recreation areas, fish and wildlife areas and trails at the end of May. Residents taking part in outdoor recreation activities will be required to comply with strict safety guidelines and COVID-19 best practices including:
- Practicing social distancing by keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and others
- Staying home if you are sick or feeling any symptoms, such as fever or trouble breathing
- Visiting parks alone or with members of your household
- Staying local by only visiting parks that are closest to where you live
- Leaving or moving to another area if crowds begin to form
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and immediately washing hands afterward
For more information on the impact COVID-19 has had on outdoor recreation, visit https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/closures/Pages/ParksOpenDuringCoVID19.aspx.
“I applaud the decision to reopen state parks and other outdoor recreation areas, but I urge residents to use them responsibly and continue to do their part to help protect others around them,” continued Reitz. “As we continue to see Illinois reopen, it’s important that we follow proper guidelines to protect those who are most vulnerable to this virus.”