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New Mexico asks residents to recreate responsibly during coronavirus pandemic

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
Residents walk down the trail at Berg Park on Friday, April 10, 2020, in Farmington.

AZTEC — While many spring events and activities have been canceled due to the coronavirus, New Mexicans are still able to head outside for hiking, biking, jogging or other outdoor recreation activities.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued guidance on how New Mexicans should recreate in a press release on April 10.

"We must practice physical distancing everywhere — even when outdoors," Lujan Grisham said. "You can go outside but you must do it cautiously and there are best practices. Avoid crowded trailheads and parking lots, and don’t car pool with people outside your family unit."

A man walks near the main entrance to Berg Park on Friday, April 10, 2020, in Farmington.

The press release states that New Mexicans should stay close to home to recreate rather than traveling.

It also provides some guidelines from the Outdoor Alliance, a national nonprofit organization of outdoor advocacy groups.

The Outdoor Alliance is recommending that people refrain from activities that have a high risk of injury. For example, the press release recommends activities like Frisbee rather than mountain biking and going on a walk instead of heading into the back country for skiing. That is because health care systems have been overwhelmed by the coronavirus, and search-andrescue teams would be placed in danger if the teams had to go looking for injured people.

Disc golf is an option of a safe outdoor recreation activity that people can do during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Outdoor Alliance also states that people should respect closures.

Many campgrounds in San Juan County have been closed and Navajo Lake State Park is closed in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

A full list of closures in New Mexico is available at nmoutside.com/covid19-response.

An empty parking lot is seen in Navajo Lake State Park after it was closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

People should avoid crowded trailheads and limit their recreation to times when there aren’t as many people on the trials.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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