Is it really safe to return to the gym? Can I take yoga classes again? What about getting my hair and nails done? Or attending my cousin’s bat mitzvah?
As a growing number of public places such as gyms, restaurants and beauty salons and even places of worship begin to open, you might be a smidge hesitant. After being in lockdown for so long and with COVID-19 still impacting lives across the country and the world, it’s only natural to be concerned.
While it’s a personal decision to go to these indoor venues, your head may be swirling with questions and concerns. We share four questions you may be asking and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What is my risk of getting COVID-19 if I go to the gym, salon or other indoor businesses?
Without trying to sound bleak, really any time you are outside of your home and around other people, there is no 100% guarantee you are risk-free from catching COVID-19 or any virus. There is always a potential risk if you come in close contact with others or share public facilities (i.e., restrooms, tables, chairs).
However, there are precautions you can take to lower your risk. The CDC has given the following recommendations:
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Put distance between yourself and others while outside of the home. This means staying at least six feet from others, not gathering in groups and avoiding crowded places or mass gatherings.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. Just because you feel great doesn’t mean you can’t still spread COVID-19.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Monitor your health and watch for symptoms.
The CDC has also given guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces and businesses as well as considerations for ways to protect employees, customers and communities and slow the spread of COVID-19.
TIP: It wouldn’t hurt to research or call the business and ask what protocols and safety measures they have in place to ensure the safety of guests during the pandemic. This could also give you some peace of mind.
Will I be able to maintain social distancing?
Businesses across the country are doing their part to slow the spread by following a phased approach based on current levels of transmission and healthcare capacity at the state and local level. This includes implementing policies and practices for social distancing.
With this in mind, you can also do your part by remembering to stay at least 6 feet away, forgo group activities and stay away from crowded places and mass gatherings.
TIP: If the location you are going is typically a popular site, consider going on off-peak hours or call ahead to see what protocols they have put in place to ensure social distancing is observed.
Should I wear a mask?
Since COVID-19 can spread very easily and sustainably from person to person, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Several countries and some parts of the U.S. have made that practice mandatory.
While it might seem like an annoyance, wearing a cloth face covering can provide an extra layer to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling in the air and onto other people.
TIP: Masking is not replacement for social distancing, so remember to stay at least six feet from others.
Here are some additional do’s and don’ts to remember about face coverings:
- Make sure you can breathe through your mask
- Wear it whenever you’re out in public
- Make sure it covers your nose AND mouth
- Remove and properly launder your mask
- Don’t use on children under 2 years of age
- Don’t use surgical masks and other PPE intended for healthcare professionals
Am I feeling sick?
Before you are around others or out in public, check for symptoms—do you have a fever, cough or other symptoms of COVID-19?
If you answer “yes,” stay home and call your doctor. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and can recover at home without medical care. It’s important to be vigilant with your health and well-being, especially if you are exhibiting any symptoms of a COVID-19.
TIP: Keep track of your symptoms. If your symptoms worsen or you have any emergency warning signs, such as difficulty breathing, call 911 and get emergency medical care immediately.
Ultimately, the decision to engage in indoor and outdoor activities is a personal one, but remember to follow CDC guidelines to help ensure you and your loved ones are safe during this uncertain time. If you have questions or concerns, contact your health care provider to discuss your personal risks and any additional preventative measures.
For more information regarding COVID-19, visit bannerhealth.com.