Depending on the situation, going out can either be a necessity or something that is nonessential. It is important to prevent the spread of COVID-19, also known as simply the coronavirus, when it is time to leave the house for either an errand, recreation, dining, or visiting family and friends. Here are a few tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and how to keep yourself from contracting the disease when going out:
- Consider the risks and precautions you take before you go out. Staying at least fix feet away from another person while wearing a facemask can reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus. The virus is more likely to be spread within a large group of people, and the risk is worse indoors. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or apply hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol on your hands after you have touched any surface. Do your research about local or state regulations and guidelines regarding COVID.
- Limit the amount of time you would be exposed to others in a public setting. You are more likely to catch the virus the longer you are around others. When shopping, take precautions such as sanitizing shopping carts and baskets and washing or sanitizing your hands. The best time to go to a store is whenever it is not crowded.
- Before going, check with a public establishment (restaurant, store, entertainment venue, etc.) about what precautions they are taking to prevent COVID-19. See if their employees are wearing facemasks, if they are frequently sanitizing surfaces, and if they are providing hand sanitizer and sanitation wipes for their customers. Be mindful of social distancing while standing in the checkout queue. When going to a restaurant, preferably eat outdoors. Whether eating outdoors or indoors, stay a lengthy distance from people eating at other tables.
- Avoid crowds when partaking in recreational outdoor activities. Despite the lower risk of the virus being spread outdoors, it is necessary to use precaution. Going to parks closer to home reduces the risks of contracting COVID-19 through travel. It is also important to wash or sanitize hands, especially for children playing on playground equipment that has most likely not been well sanitized. Camping and hiking should be done with people you are close with and who show no known symptoms of the virus. Tents should be pitched at least six feet apart.
If possible, you may prevent the spread of COVID-19 by finding alternatives to leaving your house. Food and groceries can be delivered to your house with limited face-to-face contact with the delivery person. You can also order clothes, essential items, media (books, videos, games, etc.), and prescriptions online with e-commerce websites or over the phone. When making appointments, use video teleconferencing or phone calls rather than in-person meetings.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been around someone who may have contracted the disease, please stay at home in an isolated location.
For the latest updates regarding COVID-19, please visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov.