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Campus & Community

PUBLIC SAFETY & U — May

May 6, 2020

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This month, Drexel Public Safety shares tips for enjoying the outdoors safely during this time of social distancing, remembers our fallen officers in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day and continues to salute all the essential workers serving on the frontline across the world. From our health-care workers to first responders to grocery store clerks and beyond: Thank you for your service! 

Outside Activities: Do’s and Don’ts 

With Memorial Day just around the corner, now more than ever we are longing for summertime activities, gatherings and barbecues. While in-person activities and events are canceled, you can still enjoy the season while also adhering to social distancing guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) makes the following recommendations for your outdoor activities (visit the CDC website for even more do’s and don’ts).

DO: Practice social distancing in public outdoor areas and take everyday steps to prevent COVID-19.

If a park, beach or recreational facility is open for public use, visiting is okay as long as you practice social distancing and take everyday illness-prevention steps such as washing hands often and covering coughs and sneezes.

Follow these guidelines when visiting a park, beach or recreational facility:

  • Stay at least six feet from others at all times. Avoid crowded areas and narrow trails.
  • Do not gather with others outside of your household.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Bring hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol to use if soap and water are not available.

DON’T: Use playgrounds, including water playgrounds, located within local, state or national parks.

Using playgrounds may advance the spread of COVID-19 because:

  • Playgrounds are often crowded and could easily exceed recommended guidance for gatherings.
  • It can be challenging to keep surfaces clean and disinfected.
  • The virus can spread when young children touch contaminated equipment and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.

DON’T: Participate in organized activities or sports.

Most organized activities and sports that are held on park fields, open areas and courts, such as basketball, baseball, soccer and football, are not recommended. These activities typically require participants who are not from the same household or living unit to be in close proximity, which increases their potential for exposure to COVID-19.

Grilling safety statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration. Image credit: usfa.fema.gov.
Grilling safety statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration. Image credit: usfa.fema.gov.

Barbecue Safety

Even though your summer barbecues will be limited to your households, adhering to safety rules is still a must. The City of Philadelphia has guidelines to keep you safe while grilling. Propane and charcoal grills are for outdoor use only and should not be used in enclosed areas, including tents. Grills are not allowed on decks, porches or balconies of one- and two-family houses and apartment buildings, and they should be kept at least 10 feet away from siding, decks and overhanging branches and leaves. Do not allow children to use or be near outdoor grills. Use protective mitts and gloves, and avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing. For additional tips on barbecue safety, please read the City of Philadelphia’s guidelines.

Captain Bob Lis with his grandson, Jon.
Captain Bob Lis with his grandson, Jon.

Celebrating One of Our Own

Bob Lis, captain of the Drexel Police Department’s Investigations Unit, reached a milestone in his career on March 23, celebrating 50 years in law enforcement. He started out as a Philadelphia Police Officer in 1970 and joined the Drexel team in 2005. Throughout his career, he served in several departments within the city and received over 50 commendations. Bob, we thank you for your service and applaud your dedication!

Peace Officers Memorial Day

This month, we honor our fallen officers. Photo credit: policeweek.org.
This month, we honor our fallen officers. Photo credit: policeweek.org.

Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15) is an annual National Police Week event that honors local, state and federal officers who have lost their lives or sustained disabling injury protecting our families, neighborhoods and cities. Typically, we honor these officers through bike races, memorials, prayer services and candlelight vigils; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person events for Police Week 2020 have been canceled.

On May 13, 307 names will be engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (NLEOM) to join the 22,000 other memorialized names of officers killed in the line of duty. We encourage everyone to watch the virtual candlelight vigil on May 13 at 8 p.m. as the names of these brave men and women are read aloud in remembrance. For more information, please visit NLEOM’s program events page. If you are unable to participate in the vigil, we ask that you show your support by lighting a candle in your home or share a virtual candle through social media.

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