This the percent of tests that are positive on a given day, and is a key measure, because it helps interpret the case counts. Case counts can go up just because there is more testing. However, note caveat below.
If you're the kind of person who needs a black and white answer, the answer is no.
If you prefer to wade through complexity, the short answer is: as long as you're very confident you can keep 6+ feet from others, consider it.
For some people, it will be difficult to keep a safe distance because of their home environment - e.g. a tall apartment building with limited elevators.
For others, it will risky because their normal walk is crowded right now.
Related note, please folks, I know it's nice to have spring weather finally here and the river and park walks are beckoning. But if the trail is crowded, choose another route. You might surprise yourself and find a new gem.
Our public health leaders are truly adapting in a meaningful way to the @WHO announcement this week that this has become a #pandemic.
This announcement means that there is no doubt that Coronavirus is coming to our communities, and our focus is shifting. Public health is still working toward preventing as many cases as possible, but we also need to come to grips with the fact that many of us will be affected.
(Though for the record, claims that up to 70% of people in Canada could be affect are simply wrong. Worst case scenario is the Spanish Flu of 1919. Infected ~30% of the worlds population. We are a much healthier world than we were in the wake of WWI. It's just not happening.)
In 2003, the world experienced an outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). I was in med school. Initially, the illness seemed to be linked with travel to China, but the Chinese government was not saying anything about it.
The cause of SARS was completely unknown, and it was five months between the illness first appearing and the World Health Organization (WHO) becoming significantly involved, alerting public health authorities around the world.