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Open Space - News

Posted on: April 9, 2020

Protect Yourself and Others When Going Outdoors

Family with facemasks

(JEFFERSON COUNTY, COLORADO) – These are stressful times and getting outdoors for exercise and peace of mind is how many Coloradoans cope. When people are stressed, anxious, and socially isolated – as we are right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic – access to parks, trails, and natural areas is more important than ever.

As more community members get outside, we’re seeing some concerning activities and potentially dangerous behaviors. We have every hope of keeping Jeffco parks and trails open for your enjoyment. To do this, we need your help.

We ask that you follow these requirements and recommendations for the greater good of our community and to allow park rangers, sheriff’s deputies, first responders and other parks team members to do their jobs safely and better serve you.

By following these essential health guidelines, you can reduce the strain on our public places and the risk of spreading the coronavirus:

  • Do not leave your home unless you absolutely need to. This is especially important if you are sick. Until Colorado lifts its stay-at-home order, please practice social distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Stay as close to home as possible. Try something in your own backyard, take a walk or bike ride around the block, or visit a neighborhood park (just leave any playground equipment untouched). Recreate only with people from your own household.
  • Don’t take risks, including unnecessary driving. First responders rush to every emergency call and physical distancing is not possible. Asymptomatic people, both individuals and rescuers, can spread COVID-19 before they are aware of symptoms. If either the individual or a rescuer later becomes symptomatic or tests positive, that entire group of rescuers will have to self-isolate for at least 14 days. This leads to fewer and fewer rescue personnel available to respond to emergencies quickly.
  • Avoid crowds. Parks and trailheads tend to be less busy early in the morning or late in the day.
  • Check Jeffco Open Space parking availability at seven popular parks before you go by downloading the LotSpot app or checking our website at jeffco.us/openspace.  Move on if a parking lot is full. Park only in designated spots or legally on the road shoulder.
  • Wear a cloth face-covering AND stay 6 feet away from others who are not in your household. New research suggests up to one in four people with COVID-19 may not have symptoms and can spread the disease to others. Face coverings offer minimal protection for the wearer, but they make a big difference in helping to protect others if a person that is infected and doesn’t know it.
  • Follow all Park Regulations that apply to the park or trail you are visiting. This includes keeping your dog on a leash at all times and picking up and properly disposing of dog waste (don’t leave it alongside the trail).
  • Finally, be kind to others. Remember, we’re all in this together and tensions are high. Keep your distance, be courteous, and perhaps send a wave to your neighbors when you pass them on the sidewalk or trail. You never know how much they may need it.

Let’s keep Jeffco safe and active,

Libby Szabo, Jefferson County Commissioner
Casey Tighe, Jefferson County Commissioner
Lesley Dahlkemper, Jefferson County Commissioner
Jeff Shrader, Jefferson County Sheriff
Dr. Mark Johnson, Executive Director, Jefferson County Public Health
Don Davis, Jefferson County Manager
Tom Hoby, Director, Jefferson County Open Space
Jeanie Rossillon, Director, Jefferson County Transportation & Development

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