FARMINGTON – With summer just around the corner, hot days are in sight and that means it’s time to play in the water, whether it be the sprinklers in the backyard, the city pool, one of the area’s lakes or the Animas River.
No matter where, however, the constant worry of COVID-19 looms. In anticipation of more people spending time around water, Laura Werbner, spokeswoman at San Juan Regional Medical Center, gave tips and clarified questions about masks around water.
In general, Werbner said when someone is outside away from others, it might not be necessary to wear a mask. That is unless the public area has a mask mandate.
“We encourage any form of exercise and outdoor recreation, but also ask that people use common sense when trying to diligently apply COVID-safe practices – safety first,” said Dr. Brad Greenberg with San Juan Regional Medical Center.
The policy at city pools will be for people to wear masks within the facility when not swimming.
“I think that common sense is definitely key here,” Werbner said. “If you’re in the water, you should not be wearing a mask.”
Werbner also brought up water recreation that is not directly swimming, such as paddleboarding, where wearing a mask is not needed because there is already some social distancing going on and a fall into the water wearing a mask would not be good.
“If the pool is crowded, don’t chance it. Stay home and stay safe,” Werbner said. “Also, consider who you’re spending time with when you’re enjoying some of these activities. Have they been vaccinated? Have you? If not, consider getting your vaccine – there are appointments available for adults 16 and up.”
For more information about how to register for the vaccine, visit vaccineNM.org.