In times of pandemic, where there is still no cure or vaccine against COVID-19, going out has its risks of contagion. Generally speaking, the closer and longer the interaction with other people, the higher the risk of spreading the virus.
As communities and businesses open up, you may be thinking about resuming some of your day-to-day activities in the safest way possible.
Although there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of infection, it is important to understand the potential risks and how to take different preventive measures to protect yourself and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of an activity depends on many factors, including:
- Is there the spread of COVID-19 in your community?
- Is it possible that you will have close contact with a sick person or someone who does not wear a mask (and could be asymptomatic)?
- Are you at higher risk of getting seriously ill?
- Do you take everyday steps to protect yourself from COVID-19?
CDC cannot report the specific risk level for each activity and in each community. That is why it is important that you consider your own personal situation and the risk to yourself, your family and your community before making the decision to leave.
The CDC recommends that if you choose to participate in public activities, you continue to protect yourself with everyday preventive measures.
Similarly, she advises that you keep these items on hand when you go out: a mask, tissues, and a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if possible.
- Interacting with more people increases your risk.
- Being with a group of people who do not maintain social distancing or do not wear masks increases your risk.
- Dealing with new people (for example, people who don’t live with you) also increases your risk.
- Some people have the virus and do not have any symptoms, and it is not yet known how often people without symptoms can transmit the virus.
- The closer you are to other people who might be infected, the greater your risk of getting sick.
- Indoor spaces pose a greater risk than outdoor spaces, as it can be more difficult to keep distance between people and there is less ventilation.
Activities are safer if:
- A distance of at least 6 feet can be kept between you and other people. COVID-19 is most easily spread between people who are within 6 feet of each other.
- They take place outdoors. Less ventilated interior spaces where it may be more difficult for people to keep their distance are more at risk.
- People wear masks. Interaction with other people without masks also increases your risk.
If you have COVID-19, have symptoms consistent with those of COVID-19, or if you have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19, it is important that you stay home and away from other people.