How To Protect Against Health Risks in The Outdoor Recreation Industry

Although outdoor recreational activities carry a reduced risk of transmitting viruses and illness due to the ease of social distancing and access to fresh air in outdoor spaces, employees and visitors at campgrounds, parks, and pools must continue to take precautions to protect themselves from ongoing and evolving health risks.

Campgrounds and trails can become crowded during holidays and warmer months. Shared facilities—including restrooms and visitor centers—must be regularly cleaned and ventilated to protect employees and visitors from health risks like COVID-19.

Protecting Against Ongoing Health Risks in Parks and Recreation

While outdoor recreation participants and visitors have a personal responsibility to protect their well-being, employers and managers in recreational areas also face difficult questions that they must address to protect the health of their employees and visitors, including:

  • What communication can help keep everyone informed of the preventative steps we are taking?

  • What health and safety measures should we take regarding new virus variants?

  • How do we handle high-traffic crowd management throughout the recreational areas, including during peak times?

Our Healthier Workplaces guidance documents offer practical advice for how employers and employees can address these challenges to improve their workplace safety, as well as safety tips for park visitors. The guidance borrows from the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advice and expert counsel from other leading health, government, and outdoor recreation industry organizations.

In the below “Resources By Type” under “Support Documents,” you will find the “Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook”, plus other resources with strategies to reduce the health risks workers, visitors, and volunteers face, including guidance on:

  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices for outdoor recreation environments

  • Personal hygiene best practices for employees

  • Ways to enable physical distancing at campgrounds and parks, especially in shared facilities like restrooms, showers, and locker rooms

  • Self-monitoring practices for employees and visitors to identify potential illness

Additional Safety Resources For Outdoor Recreation

For more help and resources to understand and avoid the ongoing health risks of outdoor recreation work and activities, we recommend you explore the following resources and networks.

Resources by Type


Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook

The recent pandemic has taught us many important lessons about the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, RSV, and measles in indoor environments. As a result, we must take advantage of what we have learned to help ensure our places of work are and continue to be safe places for our workers, customers, and communities. Many of the steps you can take to help keep buildings and the people in them safer and healthier are simple and effective and can be adjusted to meet the current situation or infectious disease risk that exists. In this e-book, we will walk you through the different approaches to help mitigate the risk of spreading airborne infectious diseases depending on your workplace setting.