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Play dates 2.0



Play dates are back. But be cautious

Play dates are back, but best to remain cautious


The good news is: people are getting out and about again, and kids aren’t confined to their homes, as was the case last spring. Play dates are back! 

In New York State overall numbers of infections have fallen, and according to the Covid-19 Ulster County dashboard, they continue to trend downward locally. This is our payoff for being vigilant.

As we head into the colder months, experts are acknowledging the good of all of the above, but gently advising parents to still be mindful of protocols. While our Hudson Valley numbers are good, as all learn about the novel coronavirus in real time, the national number of children diagnosed and/or hospitalized with Covid-19 is rising. Data released on Sept. 17th by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association show the infection rate has increased by 56% since August. And while about 45% are asymptomatic, they are still able to pass it on to others, including vulnerable relatives, like grandparents.

READ MORE: Hudson Valley's Favorite Playgrounds

Why the spike of youngsters (meaning babies to 20-year-olds)? According to Melinda Wenner Moyer at the New York Times, epidemiologists are saying mounting evidence suggests  that smaller, intimate gatherings, like protocol-lax play dates, playground groupings, informal family get-togethers, and teen parties may be the reason for the spikes in cases.

Especially with homebound distance learning being so prevalent. The weather is generally lovely, and parents and family groups are particularly liable to avail themselves of places to gather with kids, who then romp and play either maskless or semi-maskless.

We know that it will be more of a challenge as temperatures drop to hold play dates outside. If that’s not feasible, open windows and doors, wear masks, and endeavor to keep six feet of distance between everyone.  



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