Benton County Public Health thanks all residents that are following social distancing guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s important to remember to follow these guidelines even when outside.

“We encourage residents to spend time outdoors when possible because it’s beneficial to mental health and physical activity is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle,” said Benton County Public Health Director Katie Cox. “Everyone needs to continue following social distancing guidelines when outdoors because close contact, even outside, can spread the virus that causes COVID-19.”

When spending time outdoors, all people should:

· Maintain social distancing by keeping a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and anyone you encounter outdoors.

· Spend time outdoors alone, or only with members of your household. This is not the time for team sports or recreation.

· Avoid popular parks and trails that are frequently crowded.

· Avoid touching surfaces like crosswalk buttons, park benches, etc. Carry hand sanitizer with you so you can clean your hands while outside and be sure to wash your hands as soon as you return home.

In addition, everyone should follow these recommendations:

· Stay home as much as possible.

· If you must go out for essential errands like getting groceries or prescriptions, go alone if possible and maintain social distancing.

· Practice social distancing by staying 6-feet away from other individuals. Avoid groups of more than 10 people.

· Consider wearing a cloth face covering when running essential errands to protect others in case you are infected with COVID-19 and have no symptoms or have not yet developed symptoms.

As of today, 4/17/20 there are 21 cases of COVID-19 in Benton County. The Benton County Health Department continues to work closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and other state and local partners to respond to this ongoing pandemic.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow the department on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth



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