COVID-19 Updates for HWD Parks

Updated as of 9:00 pm, March 19, 2020:

Homewood Parks and Recreation is in regular communication with public health officials regarding COVID-19 and is taking steps to limit community exposure to COVID-19 in accordance with state officials and public health guidance.

Please check back regularly for updates.

Senior Center’s Meals-on-Wheels & Congregate Lunch Programs:

Meals-on-Wheels: Senior Center will continue to distribute these hot meals to enrolled clients of the program.
Congregate (on-site) Meals: Senior Center will be providing these hot meals as “carry-out”, despite the fact that the facility is not open for activities. 
Seniors enrolled in the lunch program may pull up to the center’s front entrance, and staff will bring the meal to your car
If possible, please call the center (205-332-6500) to indicate which days you intend to pick up a meal;  this will help us prepare, so that you do not have a long wait when you pull up.   
If you wish to enroll in the lunch program, contact the center at 205-332-6500 or email center director Aimee Thornton at aimee.thornton@homewoodal.org

Closures and Cancellations are as follows:

Facilities Closed to the Public

Homewood Community Center

Homewood Senior Center

Lee Community Center

West Homewood Athletic Center

Homewood Athletic Complex

Homewood Soccer Park

Weygand Field

All Tennis Courts

Homewood Central Park

Patriot Park

Spring Park

Woodland Park

Overton Park

** All Park facilities are now closed to the public. This includes all outdoor facilities to help limit the spread of the virus. **

Current Cancellations:

All programs, classes and athletic leagues are cancelled until further notice.

About Your Memberships:

Memberships will be automatically extended for the period of time that facilities remain closed. There is no need for patrons to request credits and extensions.

COVID-19 Information Resources:

The Center for Disease Control recommends the following to best position yourselves during this viral episode:

  • Frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoiding touching mouth, nose or eyes.
  • Stay home when you feel sick, especially if you are experiencing cold or flu like symptoms.
  • If you feel sick, call ahead to your healthcare provider to discuss whether you need to be seen and follow their advice to avoid public spaces.
  • Follow guidance of local public health officials as they revise best practices for individual health care.

Stay Physically Active

NRPA’s (National Recreation and Parks Association) program specialist, Lauren Kiefert, MPH, believes the public should be encouraged to stay active through the COVID-19 outbreak. Physical activity is a key to long-term health for everyone. Regular physical activity prevents chronic disease, controls weight, strengthens muscles, improves mental health, reduces stress, improves sleep, and more. While COVID-19 may impact certain groups or structured physical activity programs from operating as normal, community members can continue to meet daily recommended levels of physical activity at home.

People who may be more comfortable exercising at home can consider accessing home workouts online. Yoga, bodyweight exercises, stretching, or light calisthenics require no equipment and help to maintain your health. For folks who are comfortable going outdoors and have not been told to stay home, they can stay active by walking, running, hiking or biking on local trails.

Nutrition Education

NRPA’s program manager, Maureen Acquino recommends a focus on nutrition. Good nutrition is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and it provides long-term health benefits. A healthy diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases including heart disease, certain types of cancer and diabetes, and promote overall health and wellbeing.

NRPA’s Foods of the Month and Community and Home Gardening resources are great, ready-to-go tools!

Social Interaction in Creative Ways

Recently, CDC updated its COVID-19 guidelines, encouraging older adults and people with chronic health conditions to stay home as much as possible, avoid crowds and limit interactions at close distances. At the same time, more and more companies and employers are proactively shifting to remote working policies during the outbreak. While the protective measures are critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring that our healthcare systems and infrastructure are not overwhelmed, they also present other health-related challenges.

In recent years, social isolation has risen as a major concern. Social isolation has been found to cause other health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and a weakened immune system. Social isolation seriously impacts older adults and other populations as well, including working adults. For example, while remote working has its benefits, working from home full time can also be very isolating. A recent article outlines some of the common struggles that remote workers face related to social isolation and losing the ability to “express our most human qualities, like empathy and collaboration.”

Importance of Sleep

Sleep is critical to your body’s immune system. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep keeps your immune system healthy, ready to fight off viruses, and protects you from other health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Community members can use this time to focus on developing healthy habits, including a healthy sleep routine. Agencies can share information on creating a comfortable and quiet space for sleep, powering down electronics before bed, starting a wind-down routine, maintaining consistency in schedules, and avoiding caffeine, among other strategies to support a better night’s rest.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has a number of great resources focused on sleep for all ages.  

Time for Mindfulness and Self-Care

The COVID-19 outbreak is stressful. Whether your community has experienced cases or you’re in preparation mode, the impact can be felt just about everywhere. A great way to manage the stress and anxiety of this outbreak is to take time to implement mindfulness and self-care practices, like meditation, into your daily routine. Mindfulness and meditation have grown in popularity around the world due to their positive effects on relieving stress, tiredness, anxiety or feeling overwhelmed. Self-care looks different for everyone – perhaps it’s making time for a workout, spending time outdoors, connecting with family, reading a book, or exploring thoughts through a practice like meditation.

Practice Good Hygiene

You may be tired of singing the happy birthday song while washing your hands for 20-seconds with soap and water, but it’s important to continue maintaining good hygiene. Continue to follow CDC’s recommendations on how to stay healthy, including avoiding close contact with people who are sick, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, staying home when you are sick, covering your cough and sneeze with tissues, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces regularly.