Michigan stay-at-home order: Check out a Metropark or state park while social distancing

Just keep 6 feet between yourself and others

Lake St. Clair Metropark
Lake St. Clair Metropark (Amber Ainsworth/WDIV)

DETROIT – Michigan’s stay-at-home order, which begins Tuesday, is aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by increasing social distancing.

MORE: Michigan issues stay-at-home order amid coronavirus -- Here’s what it means

While the order is in place, you don’t have to sit at home and go stir-crazy because the order doesn’t prohibit Michiganders from going outside to exercise or enjoy nature.

State parks and Metroparks are still open, and they are great places to get out of the house, get some fresh air and move a bit -- as long as you keep 6 feet between yourself and other people.

Metroparks are offering free admission on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Typically, a pass is needed to enter the parks.

However, state campgrounds, as well as lodging and shelters will be closed.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, camping reservations between March 23 and April 13 cannot be honored because of the order.

Reservations for those dates will automatically be canceled. Reservation holders will receive full refunds, including the reservation fee paid when reservations were made. No cancellation or modification fees will be charged.

Metro Park playgrounds, park offices, restrooms and interpretive centers are also closed, and events are canceled through April 13. Golf course opening dates are also delayed until April 13.

MORE: Here’s which Michigan counties have confirmed cases of coronavirus

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

MORE: Beaumont Health launches coronavirus hotline for patients with symptoms

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.