COVID-19 Precautions

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El Paseo Community Garden will remain open and the 2020 gardening season will continue as we are a food production site and charitable organization providing social services. Please review our recommendations and guidelines below.



There are a number of specific recommendations for advising the public to keep safe social distancing when outdoors:

  • Restrooms are not available — be prepared before you leave and time outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.
  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to the garden — wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not leave your home if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.
  • Observe at all times CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.
  • Warn other trail users of your presence and as you pass to allow proper distance and step off trails to allow others to pass, keeping minimum recommended distances at all times. Signal your presence with your voice, bell or horn.
  • Anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or who has come in contact with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should not come to the garden. Ask anyone displaying symptoms to leave.
  • Masks do not protect the wearer from getting the virus; however, they are helpful when worn by sick people to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Avoid touching your face.


    Credit: National Recreation and Park Association

  • All events are cancelled or postponed to avoid people gatherings in close contact.
  • There should not be more than 10 people working in the garden at the same time and should maintain a minimum 6 foot distance.
  • Bring your own gardening gloves to avoid picking up germs from gates, spigots, etc.
  • Consider bringing your own tools from home and not sharing tools.
  • Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands as soon as you can after being outdoors.
  • Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect volunteers.


The garden is the social center for many gardeners. Social Distance need not lead to social isolation. Stay in touch even when you can’t gather in person.

  • Check our website, newsletter, and social media (facebook, instagram, twitter) for updates.
  • Please use our social media and Slack working group (for members) to foster a connection.  Feel free to share:
    • When you are in the garden
    • Tasks you may have completed
    • If you need assistance
    • News and updates
    • Stories and ideas
    • Tips and Strategies
    • Recipes
  • Please let us know if you have symptoms or were exposed, to take proper precautions. Many of our members are categorized as vulnerable.


Be prepared for the possibility that there may be limited access to the garden or gardeners may be sick at critical times in the future.0

  • Mulch now to prevent weeds and reduce soil moisture loss
  • Install automatic irrigation
  • Use row covers for insect control when feasible.
  • Stay ahead of seasonal tasks.
  • Communicate and coordinate any tasks or if you are unable to care for your plot.



  • Disinfect surfaces on a regular basis, including: reusable bins and buckets, shared tools, railings, doorknobs, tables, locks, gate latches, water spigots, hoses  etc.
  • Use non-porous plastic tables that can be easily disinfected whenever possible.


  • Clean and disinfect when possible.
  • Wash and rinse tools prior to sanitizing to remove organic matter on the surface that would reduce the benefit of sanitizers.
  • Provide a tub of soapy water (a biodegradable soap should be just fine here) and a separate to tub to rinse tools before tools are sanitized.
  • Gardens should provide handwashing stations, if at all possible, and/or hand sanitizer to all guests and request that they wash their hands before entering the garden and upon exiting.
  • CDC advises using compounds on the list of EPA recommended disinfectants against COVID-19, which can be found on EPA’s website.
    • Bleach may be used to disinfect surfaces, but the concentration is higher for COVID-19 than for everyday sanitation: 5 tablespoons bleach per gallon of water.
  • Visit the CDC website for more information on cleaning and disinfecting.


COVID-19 is not a foodborne illness. It is extremely unlikely that someone will catch it through eating. The virus is most likely to cause illness through respiratory transmission, not eating. The routes to be concerned about include being in very close proximity to many people or coming in contact with high touch surfaces.


Chicago Corona Virus Response

State of Illinois COVID-19 Response

IDPH website for COVID-19