Safe outdoor activities during COVID-19 pandemic – Rochester Minnesota news, weather, sports


For many people, the summer of 2020 has been unlike any other in recent memory. Public health restrictions caused by the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic have resulted in the cancellation of festivals, concerts and other events. Many holidays and major celebrations have been limited or suspended.

Despite the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still a lot of fun to be had. In fact, looking for fun activities can be even more important now. Doing something you love can distract you from problems and help you cope with life’s challenges.

When activities take place close to where you live and leave a lot of space between you and others, outdoor activities pose a lower risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus than indoor activities.

Why choose outdoor activities?

The COVID-19 virus is transmitted primarily from person to person through respiratory droplets released into the air when speaking, coughing or sneezing. When you are indoors you are more likely to inhale these droplets from an infected person, especially if you are in close contact, as you share more air than outdoors. Poor ventilation of the building can cause the droplets to stay in the air for a longer period of time, increasing the risk of infection.

When you are outdoors, the cool air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. This makes you less likely to inhale enough respiratory droplets that contain the virus that causes the COVID-19 infection.

Being outdoors also offers other advantages. It provides an emotional boost and can help you feel less tense, stressed, angry, or depressed.

Low-risk social activities

Many other outdoor activities can also be good choices:

  • Picnics. Pack food at home or grab take out at your favorite restaurant or food truck and take it to your favorite public park.
  • Agricultural markets. Wear a mask and maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) from others.
  • Gathering with friends. Plan for social distancing between people from different households and avoid hugs and handshakes. Plan activities that don’t require close contact, like sidewalk chalk for the kids and games like Frisbee. And offer a hand sanitizer. Remember, just getting together to chat from a safe distance can provide a valuable opportunity to be with the people you care about and at the same time improve your mood.
  • Driving movies. The COVID-19 pandemic has kicked off a return to drive-in cinema in the United States. It is something that many people can enjoy with a great deal of physical distance.

Learn about low to moderate and high risk outdoor activities


This article is written by the staff of the Mayo Clinic. Find more medical and health information at

The information in this post was accurate at the time of posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding as well as guidelines and recommendations may have changed since the original publication date.

Check the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

for additional updates on COVID-19. For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, visit the

Mayo Clinic News Network