When Entering Public Spaces, Do So Safely

The best way to curb the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home.

That’s true especially now that more than half of US states will start reopening nonessential businesses like salons, restaurants and gyms.

This isn’t an immediate return to normalcy — health officials have warned that reopening now could mean a resurgence of the virus.

So if you’re reentering public spaces, it’s imperative to do so safely.

Try not to visit them all, says Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute of Public Health.

She suggests you choose one of these nonessential places to visit, then avoid the rest to limit your exposures to other people. For instance, if you go to your polling place to vote, don’t also go out to eat that night or to get your hair cut. The more public places you visit, the higher your likelihood of becoming infected or infecting others.

If you go to a restaurant:

  • Sit outdoors at least six feet away from other diners.
  • Check out the restaurant’s safety protocols (gloves, masks, disinfecting) before you go.
  • Wash your hands!!!

If you go to the beach or park:

  • Many beaches are reopening for walking, running or surfing, as long as you can maintain distance from others. Just don’t try sunbathing or lounging. Only go with people who you live with!
  • Know when it has become too crowded to stay

If you go to the gym:

  • Choose machines at least 6 feet apart from others.
  • Wipe down everything: machines, weights, kettlebells, everything.
  • Avoid group classes. Do that style of workout at home on the internet.

If you go to the salon:

  • Check out the salon’s safety protocols (gloves, masks, disinfecting) before you go.
  • Wait outside until it is your turn.
  • Be sure to be sat distanced from other customers.

If you must ride share or use public transportation:

  • Ask yourself if this ride is completely essential before you go.
  • Consider alternatives like walking or biking.
  • Look at peak hours and try to avoid them.
  • Watch what you touch.

If you go to the airport:

  • Limit contact in the terminal.
  • Carry disinfecting wipes.
  • Sit 6 feet apart from others.

If you go to a medical clinic:

  • Be mindful of your surroundings and don’t read any of the magazines.
  • Leave guests at home.
  • Call and schedule an appointment before you go.

If you go to the polling place:

  • Keep 6 feet distance from others.
  • Go during non-peak hours.
  • Wipe down surfaces.

If you go to the post office:

  • Observe the protocols (put on a face covering if they recommend one while inside).
  • Wash your hands/use hand sanitizer.

If you go to the grocery store:

  • Plan your trip and make a list.
  • Wipe down carts and baskets.
  • Follow the flow of traffic.
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others.
  • Use hand sanitizer.
  • You can also try ordering ahead and picking up or the store delivery service if you want to avoid going to the store.

Again, staying home is completely necessary unless 100% essential. Help stop the spread by staying inside as much as possible.


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