Is it safe to go to amusement parks in the pandemic? A guide for the 2021 season

Editor’s Note — There are few no-risk actions throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, however there are methods to mitigate dangers. Fully vaccinated individuals are, after all, at a lot decrease threat of contracting and spreading coronavirus than individuals who have not been vaccinated. NCS Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen advises approaching your exercise selections with that in thoughts.

(NCS) — If you are questioning whether or not an amusement park is a safe place to have enjoyable after greater than a 12 months of pandemic struggles, know that the reply is not black-and-white.

Coronavirus spreads by publicity to respiratory droplets carrying the virus, virus collected in or flowing by the air or surfaces contaminated with the virus. Because of that, the threat ranges of amusement parks rely upon the security modifications they take to cut back Covid-19 threat, in accordance to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s steering for traveling amusement parks and carnivals.
Employees sanitize roller coaster seats at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, on April 2 -- the second day that the park reopened after more than a year of being closed because of the pandemic.

Employees sanitize curler coaster seats at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, on April 2 — the second day that the park reopened after greater than a 12 months of being closed due to the pandemic.

Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

That can apply to everlasting amusement parks, too, mentioned NCS Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency doctor and visiting professor of well being coverage and administration at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

“If the amusement park is entirely outdoors and you’re going at a time when it’s not a bunch of people packed into a very small space, if you can keep some pretty good physical distancing, and if masks are required, I would feel pretty good about going,” Wen mentioned. “That changes if any of those factors are not there.

“If it’s outdoor, there’s going to be superb air circulation. We now know that surfaces are usually not the main challenge.”

Before you go to an amusement park

By calling or looking online, check whether the park has been complying with CDC guidelines for traveling amusement parks — or with similar precautions regarding cleaning frequently touched surfaces as much as possible, physical distancing and consistent mask wearing.
If you don’t live in the same state or country as the amusement park, call the park or check its website to know whether the park is allowing out-of-state visitors. You may need to make reservations since some parks may be limiting capacity. Look for advance ticketing options so that you and your group can enter the park using contactless check-in.

Also, look at online review forums and navigation apps to see what the experiences of recent guests have been, Wen suggested. “Does it seem to be masking is enforced? Also, what are the most crowded instances, and what does it appear like when it’s crowded? Are you in a position to keep bodily distancing? If not, it’s your decision to rethink the journey.”

If you have children, set their expectations for what the trip may be like.

“Discuss with the household, in advance, about what to do, together with for those who present up and it’s too crowded and chances are you’ll want to go away,” Wen said. “Kids might in any other case be very upset if that had been to happen.”

While you’re at the park

While you’re there, you’ll need hand sanitizer to use before and after you touch things — such as ATMs or handrails — or eat.

“We do not know the way ceaselessly they’re wiping down these rides,” so bring sanitizing wipes as well, said Dr. Ada Stewart, a family physician with Cooperative Health in Columbia, South Carolina, and the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

When you’re on rides, “quite a lot of instances you are screaming,” said Regina Davis Moss, the associate executive director of health policy and practice at the American Public Health Association. “These are additionally potential alternatives for droplet unfold.” Avoid rides that don’t allow for enough space between groups from different households — and remember to keep your mask on at all times.

Carry more than one mask in case one gets wet, which can make it less effective and complicate breathing. Bringing your own food and eating at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live in your household — or finding a restaurant with out of doors seating — is most secure. Many companies have closed public water fountains, so chances are you’ll want to deliver alongside a water bottle as nicely.

Avoid touching shared gadgets, equivalent to gaming tools, if you have not seen park employees clear it between friends. If you do play arcade video games, ensure that solely your group is at the sales space. Pay consideration to any indicators or markings that encourage you to bodily distance and keep conscious of your environment.


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