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Alberta Officials Say Going For Walks With Friends Isn't A Good Idea

Spring is here, folks. The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and the weather is finally up to our spring standards, but don't let that fool you — physical and social distancing is still very much a thing. Alberta Health told Narcity that while it's absolutely okay for us to take walks in our neighbourhood parks, it's not okay to bring a friend, even if they're two meters away.

On Tuesday, April 21, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the Chief Medical Officer of Health, posted a set of tweets on her official account, alerting the public of the lovely weather outside and how that may affect the province's social distancing policy.

"Now that the weather is improving, getting some exercise & spending time outside is important to your mental health," the tweet read.

She confirmed that we can enjoy the outdoors while following physical distancing measures and public health orders.

The recommended distance that we need to maintain in public spaces is two meters or six feet, as issued by the Canadian government.

However, a lot of us might be wondering if it's possible to have public hangouts with friends while maintaining the proper amount of distance.

For example, we saw a group of Calgary ladies having a physically-distanced dance party in the middle of a parking lot.

Albertan cops also got their line dancing on while remaining far apart from each other.

Though, Steve Buick, the spokesperson for Alberta Health, spoke to Narcity and confirmed that we shouldn't be making any physically distant plans with people who don't live with us.

"The answer is no — don't get together for recreation with people outside your own household. It's not a legal order, just common sense," he said.

Earlier, Alberta Health spokesperson Tom McMillan told Global News that it's not recommended to make driveway visits to friends or family, even if you make sure to be six feet apart.

He also added that while neither of those activities is prohibited under the current circumstances, people who are not in your household should be avoided "whenever possible."

In addition, CTV News interviewed Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious disease physician, to get more input on why we have to be careful about going on walks with others at this time.

He said that the whole point of physical and social distancing is to avoid people who are not in your household in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If everyone in the whole neighbourhood begins going on walks at the same time, that poses a risk to the public, he explained.

As for Dr. Deena Hinshaw's tweet, she explains that we need to take precautions when going outside.

First, we need to make sure we're healthy and have no symptoms of COVID-19. We will have to practice hand hygiene and "cough/mask etiquette" and we cannot be touching rails, garbage cans, or any other surfaces.

It looks like socially distanced hangouts may not be the best idea, after all.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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