How to stay safe at church, family gatherings, and businesses:
As stay-at-home restrictions are being eased, more people will be heading to worship services, family gatherings and businesses that have been shut down for a few months. Dr. Daniel Jobe, a Novant Heallth internal medicine physician, offers advice on staying safe.
What are the top precautions you need to take if you go to a family gathering, with relatives and friends who aren’t the ones you live with? (Social distancing is a given)
- Even when visiting family, take common-sense precautions. If you’re not sure it’s safe, consider postponing the gathering. Before the get-together, ask yourself these questions:
- Is anyone sick?
- Has anyone been exposed to COVID-19?
- Is there anyone in the family that might be especially hard-hit by the virus, due to advanced age or pre-existing chronic medical conditions?
- Can we keep the gathering small, and can we minimize the risk of person-to-person spread through spacing, handwashing, and other measures?
Are there any extra steps I can take to protect myself and my family?
- Remember, a person can have COVID-19 and not know it. An infected person can spread the infection, even before he or she has symptoms. Protect yourself at all times.
- It is still smart to only go out for essential activities.
- Wash hands frequently and scrub thoroughly, using soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
- Remember that certain people are more vulnerable to COVID-19. People over 65, and those with chronic conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, cancer, or suppressed immune systems need to be especially careful.
- Stay attuned to your health. If you have a thermometer, check your temperature daily. If you develop a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or any other concerning symptoms, call you medical provider for advice.
“In general, keep in mind that the closer the contact, the greater the risk of getting the virus,” Jobe said. “This risk can be reduced by taking common-sense precautions, and staying up-to-date on the virus in your community.”
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