COVID-19 has forced the world to put life on pause. Schools, restaurants, stores, and even parks and beaches have closed. Non-essential workers have been working remotely, laid-off, or furloughed until the threat passes.
As we start to emerge on the other side of the worst of the outbreak in many places, states and the federal government are starting to think about moving forward safely. As things start to reopen and states begin to lift their stay at home, it's important to do so while ensuring the safety of everyone.
Read on to learn how we can move forward safely.
Continue Social Distancing
Most states that have started reopening businesses are limiting the number of people who can be inside at one time. For example, in Florida, restaurants that reopen can only be at 25% capacity inside and outside seating must keep at least 6 feet between tables.
Even when grocery shopping or visiting other retail establishments, limited capacity and avoiding being too close to others will continue to help stop the spread of the virus. Many states will also continue to disallow visits at nursing homes and limit visitors in hospitals.
Avoid Large Gatherings
In addition to social distancing in our daily activities, avoiding large gatherings is also necessary. Many states have canceled or postponed large gatherings like concerts, fairs and festivals, and sports tournaments that were planned for the summer.
Plans for sports events, like golf, Nascar, and baseball are typically focused on playing games or holding events without any fans to again limit the spread of the virus. Even parties with family and friends should be kept to a small number for the next few months at least.
Clean and Disinfect Often
Cleaning and disinfecting our homes will help prevent bringing in the virus from the outside, especially as things begin to open. The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting your home regularly, especially high-touch areas like doorknobs, light switches, sinks and faucets, keyboards, and other electronics.
Frequent handwashing should also continue. You should wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. When handwashing isn't available, using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is sufficient until you can wash your hands.
Take Precautions if You Are Sick
If you are sick, you should stay home unless you are seeking medical care. Separate yourself from others in your home, including pets. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and wear a mask when you leave the house.
Don't share household items with people in your home either, like cups, dishes, silverware, bedding, etc. If it is possible to quarantine in a separate area of your home to avoid contact with others, you should do so.
If you have signs of COVID-19, you should speak with your doctor about potentially getting tested. Call your doctor ahead of time and check with your local health department on your area's testing policies and procedures.
Moving Forward Safely
Moving forward safely means that we can't simply flip a switch and allow everything to reopen without taking some precautions. Looking out for yourself is also important, so if you feel uncomfortable patronizing a business that is not following the things discussed above, don't patronize it. Ultimately, you should follow the recommendations of your local government.
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