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As Summer begins, CDC Updates Social Guidelines

07/14/2020 06:00AM | 302 views

By Ralph Ellis

As states lift restrictions and people begin to resume normal activities such as hosting cookouts or going to the nail salon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued tips for reducing the risk of catching or spreading the coronavirus.



 

"I know that the people are eager to return to normal activity and ways of life," Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Friday, according to CNN. "However, it is important that we remember that this situation is unprecedented, and that the pandemic has not ended."

In the guidance titled “Deciding to Go Out,” the CDC urges people to follow the basic rules of life in 2020: Wash your hands often, practice social distancing, wear face coverings, disinfect surfaces, and stay home if you’re sick.

The CDC also offers specific tips for different activities.

If you’re hosting a cookout or some other gathering, encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks. If food is being served, only one person should do it. Provide face masks and seating spaced for social distancing. Keep a list of guests in case contract tracing is necessary.

Before you visit a nail salon, make your appointment in advance. Wait in your car until it’s time for the appointment, if possible, or stay socially distant in the waiting area. Wear a mask and wash your hands -- and make sure the employees are doing the same.

Call restaurants in advance to make sure the staff will be wearing masks and that socially distant seating is available. Sit outside if possible. Choose food and beverage options that are not self-serve. Ask about self-parking to avoid the use of valet parking.

Going to the library? Use advance checkout systems, if possible, and seek out digital materials over print. Curbside pickup of materials is best. Disinfect library materials in plastic containers, such as CDs or audio books, during returns and/or exchanges.

At the gym, don’t use shared items that can’t be easily disinfected, such as resistance bands and weightlifting belts. Wear a mask and perform vigorous exercises outside when possible. Don’t be surprised if showering is not allowed. No high fives.

 

 

If you’re traveling, ask the motel or hotel about their cleaning policies. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Avoid places like fitness centers and game rooms where socially distancing is difficult.

The CDC provides a list of questions each person should ask before going out, such as: Is COVID-19 spreading in my community? What are the local orders in my community? Will my activity put me in close contact with others? Will I have to take mass transit?

The CDC emphasizes these guiding principles for gatherings:

  • The more people an individual interacts with and the longer the interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected.
  • The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
  • The size of an event or gathering should be determined based on state, local, territorial or tribal safety laws and regulations.

“As communities and businesses are opening, you may be looking for ways to resume some daily activities as safely as possibly,” the CDC said on its website. “While there is no way to ensure zero risk of infection, it is important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different types of prevention measures to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.” 

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