Many of us are eager to get out of the house. While there is no doubt you are safer at home as COVID-19 continues to spread, there are several considerations and actions you can take so that if you head out, you can do so as safely as possible.
4 Things to Consider
There is no way to ensure zero risk when leaving home. In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading. We cannot say how risky all the activities you may wish to participate in are, but we can share four important things to consider:
- The more people you interact with the more your risk of getting COVID-19 increases. Even if someone does not appear sick, they may have COVID-19.
- The closer you are to other people who may be infected, the greater your risk of getting sick. Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there is less ventilation.
- Spending longer time with people who may be infected increases your risk of becoming infected.
- Spending time with people who don’t wear a cloth face mask increases the risk that they could spread infection to you.
Ask the Right Questions
While it is a challenge to provide specific risk assessments for every activity, there is guidance in place for businesses as they reopen. And there are things that you as an individual can consider as you run errands, grab a meal or get some exercise. Think about what it is you would like to do and ask yourself some key questions to help make the best decision for you.
- Will my activity put me in close contact with others?
- Am I at higher risk for severe illness, or do I live with someone who is?
- Do I need to travel to another community and what are the travel requirements to be aware of?
- Do I know what to do if I get sick?
These are just a few examples of questions you should consider. If you are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, you may need take additional precautions.
Take Precautions If You Go Out
In addition to using those questions to help assess your own risk, you should continue to take preventative actions to protect yourself and others such as:
- Following the mandate and wearing a cloth face covering
- Keeping at least six feet of space between you and others (social distancing)
- Washing your hands and avoiding touching your face
- Using hand sanitizer while you are out and cannot wash your hands
- Covering coughs and sneezes
- Using touchless options whenever possible
One way to help with some of these preventive actions is to have a kit prepared for when you do go out. Include a face covering, hand sanitizer and tissues.
And finally, if you are sick or if you are in contact with someone who is sick within six feet and for 15 minutes or more, it is critical that you stay home and away from others. And if you are sick, or in contact with someone who is sick, get tested. By staying home, you are preventing spreading COVID-19 to others and helping our community.
For questions about CoVid-19, call the Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127, press #.
Here are some additional resources:
Centers for Disease control and Prevention
Spokane Regional Health District
Follow trusted local and national agencies on social media
Spokane Valley Fire Department – @SpokaneValleyFireDepartment
Spokane Regional Health District – @spokanehealth
Centers Disease Control and Prevention – @CDC
Spokane County Emergency Management – @GEGEmergencyMgt