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FGCU professor shares safety tips as Lee County reopens pools, playgrounds, and more Friday.

Posted at 10:44 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 22:44:24-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — As summer quickly approaches, many of us want to enjoy the outdoors, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, public amenities have been shut down, leaving many parents in limbo on how to entertain their families.

Tomorrow Lee County is reopening public areas such as pools, playgrounds, and more.

However, the Director of the Physicians Assistant Program at Florida Gulf Coast University advises parents to follow all safety guidelines.

“Parents should wear masks, more importantly if any of the children are sick, people need to stay home. So if they are running a fever or coughing and sneezing, it’s best not to go to areas where large people are congregating, such as pools and parks” said Robert Hawkes, Director of Physician Assistant Program FGCU

Hawkes says he believes there is no need to disinfect playground equipment.

“I mean if they are comfortable and want to bring some hand wipes, I think that is fine, but we know that COVID while it can, we believe, live on surfaces, it doesn’t live for a very long time,” said Hawkes.
One family enjoying Lakes Park today told me, they are not ready yet.

“You know we're just not comfortable using the play equipment and stuff. We feel really grateful the parks are open for this kind of thing, walking and the trails and stuff” said Brienne Thornbury.

As a mother of a 4-year-old Thornbury says she understands what many parents are facing, adding we’re all doing the best we can.

“Nobody is doing it wrong and it's just what you’re comfortable with. We’re all just completely out of our element, we're all struggling, just trying to keep them happy, and healthy and well-fed and as much outdoor space as we can you know” said Thornbury.

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