SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) — 2020 has been a year with a lot of indoor time. After the coronavirus pandemic hit in late March, Utahns were encouraged to “Stay Safe, Stay Home”.

Utah is known for its beautiful recreation opportunities. For many, getting out and exploring the state is the perfect way to get out of the house, recharge the mind, and get some exercise.

Recreation was created around the idea of socially distancing before we really understood what the now commonly-used phrase means. As Utah heads into the winter months, a popular time to head outdoors, health officials are reminding Utanhs to not throw COVID-19 safety protocols out the window.

According to an article from Intermountain Healthcare, with COVID-19 still spreading, it is more important than ever to take care of your physical and mental health. Events like concerts and parties might be memories of the past, but there are still many fun outdoor activities you can safely enjoy these next few months.

Utah is known for the “Greatest Snow on Earth”. Though the pandemic has canceled or postponed countless events this year, it can’t keep skiers off the slopes.

Ski resorts are open throughout the state. They have guidelines in place in efforts to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

Intermountain released the following on what you should know before you hit the slopes.

  • Face coverings are required. All 15 Utah ski areas will require face coverings that align with CDC recommendations when social distancing isn’t possible. This applies to both outdoor and indoor spaces, except when eating or drinking. 
  • Practice social distancing. Lift queues, ticket queues, ski and snowboard lessons, employee spaces, and food outlets will all encourage appropriate spacing to allow social distancing between parties. 
  • Ski resorts will be cleaning and disinfecting regularly. High-touch surfaces, such as bathrooms, restaurants, dining facilities, ticket offices, and rental shops will all be cleaned and disinfected following CDC guidelines.
  • Operating plans may change. To optimize safety, Utah ski areas may review and change their operating plans to comply with local regulations. 

Considering hiking and snowshoeing this winter? Utah has opportunities for hikers to explore the winter terrain. Intermountain Healthcare says the key to enjoying your hiking adventure is being prepared with the proper gear, snacks, and necessary equipment.

Health officials recommend social distancing and mask-wearing when social distancing isn’t an option on the trails.

A winter walk! When the air is crisp a walk can be the perfect low-risk outdoor activity that can clear that COVID-19 stress.

Walks are easy and refreshing. No special equipment is needed and a walk can be as short or long as desired. Walks can also give you the needed endorphin boost. Dress warm and watch out for the icy road. Makes sure to bring a mask along with you, just incase you come in contact with a neighbor.


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