Sat | Dec 5, 2020

Reduce your risk of getting COVID-19

Published:Wednesday | November 18, 2020 | 12:14 AM

It is especially important for people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who live with them, to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.

The best way to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is to:

• Limit your interactions with other people as much as possible.

• Take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 when you do interact with others.

• If you start feeling sick and think you may have COVID-19, get in touch with your healthcare provider within 24 hours.

What to consider before being around other people

There is no way to ensure you have zero risk of infection, so it is important to understand the risks and know how to be as safe as possible if or when you do resume some activities, run errands, or attend events and gatherings.

People at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who live with them, should consider their level of risk before deciding to go out and ensure they are taking steps to protect themselves. Consider avoiding activities where taking protective measures may be difficult, such as activities where social distancing can’t be maintained. Everyone should take steps to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 to protect themselves, their communities, and people who are at increased risk of severe illness.

In general, the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.

If you decide to engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself by practising everyday preventive actions.

Keep these items on hand and use them when venturing out: a mask, tissues, and a hand sanitiser with at least 60 per cent alcohol, if possible.

If possible, avoid others who are not wearing masks or ask others around you to wear masks.

Are you considering in-person visits with family and friends? Here are some things to consider to help make personal and social activities as safe as possible:

WHEN TO DELAY OR CANCEL A VISIT

Delay or cancel a visit if you or your visitors have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Anyone who has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should stay home and monitor for symptoms.

In general, the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. So, think about:

• How many people will you interact with?

• Can you keep six feet of space between you and others?

• Will you be outdoors or indoors?

• What’s the length of time that you will be interacting with people?

• Encourage social distancing.

Visit with your friends and family outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open windows or doors) and large enough to accommodate social distancing.

Arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together and don’t need to be six feet apart from each other.

Consider activities where social distancing can be maintained, like sidewalk chalk art or yard games.

Try to avoid close contact with your visitors. For example, don’t shake hands, elbow bump, or hug. Instead wave and verbally greet them.

If possible, avoid others who are not wearing masks or ask others around you to wear masks.

Consider keeping a list of people you visited or who visited you and when the visit occurred. This will help with contact tracing if someone becomes sick.

Source: CDC