Remember, it’s OK to enjoy the outdoors as long as you continue practicing social and physical distancing. Take a walk or go for a hike. Do some gardening or go for a drive. When you have to interact with others to shop, pick up medications or takeout food, check on friends or neighbors, or visit a health care office or facility, take the proper precautions.

Here are some additional things to consider and ask about before heading out: 

  • Is COVID-19 spreading in your community, and are any local stay-at-home or other orders in place?
  • How many people will you encounter, and how long will you be interacting?
  • Will you have to share equipment, tools, or other items with anyone?
  • Will you have to travel to another community or need to use public transportation?
  • Can you keep the appropriate 6-foot distance between yourself and others?
  • Are you at risk of severe illness, or do you live with someone at risk?
  • Will you have to miss school or work if you get sick? What might that mean for you?
  • Are you taking appropriate precautions?

These questions are important, because the closer you interact with someone, the longer the interaction, and the greater the number of people involved in the interaction, the greater the risk of COVID-19 spread. Check for updates from your local health department and state.

In addition to the general advice for staying safe and healthy when venturing out in public, the CDC recently released activity-specific tips for common day-to-day activities.

Banking

  • Use telephone, drive-up, or virtual banking services when available.
  • Use a cloth face covering for in-person transactions, and bank where personnel do the same.
  • Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol after all transactions and wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you have access to soap and water after transactions.

Dining out

  • Check the restaurant’s website and social media for COVID-19 safety information, and call ahead to ensure that staff wear cloth face coverings at work.
  • Wear your own cloth face covering if you dine indoors or can’t be more than 6feet away from others, and use it when you’re not eating. Sit outside with proper distancing when possible.
  • Avoid using valet services.
  • Avoid self-serve options, shared serving utensils, touchscreens, or other frequently touched items when possible.

Hosting a gathering

  • Remind guests to stay home if they have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Host your gathering outdoors if possible, or make sure indoor spaces are well-ventilated.
  • Avoid hugs and handshakes.
  • Wear cloth face coverings when less than 6 feet away from others and when indoors; consider providing face coverings for guests or asking them to bring their own.
  • Consider providing hand sanitizer and making hand-washing facilities available; provide single-use hand towels.
  • Arrange seating for proper social distancing and group people from the same household together.
  • Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks or designate one person to serve food to limit exposure.
  • Use single-use condiments and serving items as much as possible.
  • Limit traffic around food preparation areas.
  • Use disposable gloves during cleanup and disinfect commonly touched surfaces between uses.
  • Keep a list of guests for potential future contact tracing needs.

Hitting the gym

  • Use online reservations and check-in, if available.
  • Opt for facilities with outdoor space or choose virtual classes and training sessions when possible.
  • Maintain as much distance as possible between yourself and others, open windows to increase ventilation during indoor group training sessions, and use cloth face coverings, if possible.
  • Clean and disinfect all equipment before use and wash your hands or use sanitizer before and after using equipment or facilities.
  • Avoid using items that can’t be properly sanitized between use, such as resistance bands and weightlifting belts.
  • Avoid touching others, including to shake hands, high-five, or elbow bump.
  • Prepare for limited access to locker rooms and restrooms as facilities seek to limit COVID-19 exposure.

Visiting a nail salon

  • Book services in advance to avoid waiting in a lobby area with others. Ask if you can wait in your car until contacted by mobile phone when it’s your turn.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately before receiving your service and after touching any common surfaces.
  • Maintain proper distance from other customers in the salon.
  • Wear a cloth face covering and only visit salons where staff do the same or use physical barriers such as plexiglass. Make sure staff members change gloves or use hand sanitizer after handling shared or commonly touched items.
  • Use cashless payment options when possible.

Visiting a library

  • Use online reservation and advance-order checkout systems, if available.
  • Choose digital instead of print materials when possible.
  • Ask if curbside pickup is available and use a cloth face covering during pickup.
  • Wash your hands before and after exchanges.
  • Clean and disinfect electronics and other items in plastic containers, like audiobooks or CDs, at the time of return or exchange.
  • If going inside a library, maintain social distancing, and ensure commonly touched surfaces such as computer equipment and computer stations are cleaned and disinfected before use.

  Traveling overnight

  • Use online reservation systems, check-in, and mobile room key options when possible.
  • Use contactless payment systems when possible.
  • Call ahead to ask if all staff are wearing cloth face coverings and if extra prevention practices, such as plexiglass barriers, are used.
  • Ask about cleaning and disinfecting policies and other measures to prevent COVID-19 spread, such as removing or sanitizing frequently touched items like pens, light switches, doorknobs, and remote control devices.
  • Wear a cloth face-covering in the lobby and other common areas.
  • Maintain a 6-foot distance from others whenever possible.
  • Consider taking the stairs; use the elevator only when you can do so alone or only with members of your household.
  • Consider cleaning your travel lodging yourself using this guidance from the CDC.
  • Visit the CDC travel website for more information on planning trips.

Click here for more details and tips on venturing out safely.

As churches, schools, and workplaces reopen, be sure they are taking precautions, too. Don’t be afraid to ask about the measures being taken to protect you and others. We’re all in this together!

Click here for more information on making sure your workplace is safe, and here for some tips on cleaning and disinfecting your home or workplace. Here is some advice on what to do if you are diagnosed with or develop symptoms of COVID-19.

Have questions about protecting yourself and others as we ease back into post-quarantine life? Need assistance with grocery delivery or want to know about other resources available to you? Your Health Advisor can help! We’re here for you.

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