Is apple picking safe amid COVID-19? Here's what you need to know

By RADIO.COM

Various classic fall activities are in jeopardy with the coronavirus in our midst. Is apple picking safe amid the pandemic?

As it turns out, it's still possible to take part in the fun fall tradition safely. If you and your family are gearing up to head to your favorite orchard, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind in order to maintain your health, Today reports.

Ultimately, it can be a "fairly low-risk pursuit," according to S. Patrick Kachur, professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Stay outdoors

As long as you maintain your distance from others and stay outside, apple picking can be a great way to get some fun in during the fall months.

"Going apple picking as an individual family experience where you'll be responsible for and able to control your own transportation and physical distancing can be a safe outing," Kachur said.

"Being out of doors greatly reduces the risk of virus being transmitted, and can make physical distancing far more easy to achieve," he added. Bring along your face coverings and make sure you wash your hands regularly.

Avoid crowds

There are sure to be others thinking that apple picking would be a great way to spend the weekend, so make sure you're doing your part to avoid congested areas.

Some orchards will have timed entry slots available, so you don't have to worry about too many people being there at once if you plan ahead.

"The presence of large crowds makes things more complicated," Kachur said. "Organized festivals or waiting on-line for a long time to get to and from the orchard can present transmission opportunities."

Feel free to leave the gloves behind

While many will be tempted to glove up while going apple picking, Kachur explains that even if there were possibilities of contracting the virus from fruit, it wouldn't survive for very long on its surface.

"There should be no COVID-19-specific reason to wear gloves while you pick, unless that makes you feel safer," Kachur said. He added, "It is always advisable to wash produce in plenty of clean water before consuming it."

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