FRANKFORT – With the Memorial Day holiday upon the state, and COVID-19 recreational limitations slowly being lifted in the coming weeks, the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) provides these safety tips to help Kentuckians enjoy the abundant water resources that the lakes, rivers and creeks of the Commonwealth have to offer.

Many facilities, including state park beaches, remain closed at this time. For timelines on their reopening, go to https://parks.ky.gov/covid-19-information. Information on staying safe and healthy during the Coronavirus pandemic can be found at https://kycovid19.ky.gov.

Despite many water quality improvements, there is the potential for human health risks in any body of water. By using common sense, your risks of experiencing water-derived health issues can be greatly decreased.

Those choosing to utilize public water resources should:

• Avoid ingesting or inhaling the water.

• Thoroughly clean hands and other areas that have come in contact with the water.

• Avoid allowing open wounds to have direct contact with the water.

• Avoid areas where swimming or harmful algal bloom (HAB) advisories have been issued.

• Avoid water with obvious odors or surface scums.

• Avoid getting in water after heavy rainfall, especially in dense residential, urban and agricultural areas.

• Avoid areas below wastewater treatment facility outfalls, animal feedlots, straight pipes or other obvious sources of pollution.

• Restrict pets and livestock from drinking the water if a bright green or blue-green surface scum is present.

Gov. Andy Beshear launched the Healthy at Work initiative in late April to guide the smart, safe and gradual reopening of the state’s economy. The initiative sets out public health benchmarks for reopening Kentucky’s economy.

Keep up with information from Gov. Beshear and his administration about the Covid-19 pandemic at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and on the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

If you experience symptoms, such as gastro-intestinal upset or rash, after recreation in natural waters, such as streams, rivers or lakes, consult your physician or call your local health department.

For more information on healthy swimming in all water bodies, visit http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/.

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