Exercise Caution When Going Outside During the Lockdown

March 13, 2020

From the first known case to spreading through neighborhoods, people all over the world are preparing for the potential of COVID-19 reaching their community. The question is no longer “will it hit your neighborhood.” Now, you should be asking “by when.” Like many others, you would probably like to know what to do when handling day-to-day situations to avoid infection.

Among an onslaught of questions we hear, one that appears often is whether it is safe to even go outside. Here are a few tips other medical professionals are offering in regard to this question.

Preventing the Illness

It is important to note that during an outbreak of COVID-19, the main focus of a lockdown is to slow the spread of it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, states that COVID-19 is spread “Between people who are in close contact with one another,” and “Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.” The CDC adds that many places where a large number of people gather may shut down during a lockdown. This can include:

  • Community centers
  • Schools
  • Offices or places of work
  • Movie theaters
  • Large events/gatherings

Be careful in large crowds or parks

So, while going outside will not immediately mean a person contracts COVID-19, that does not mean that people should spend too much time outside. In fact, limiting one’s time outside can help decrease the risk of contracting COVID-19 from another person. Unless there is a national warning to remain indoors put into effect, people can go outside when absolutely necessary.

Steps to Take When Outside

Even though people are able to go outside, there are precautionary steps people can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Frequently Wash Hands with Soap and Water

The United States Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration gives details on controlling and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the office space. The Department of Labor states that regardless of specific exposure risks, it is crucial to “Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.”

This advice not only applies to employees in the workspace but to people of all ages in any setting. It is crucial to wash the hands and decrease the risk of contracting the condition.

Avoid sharing food or drinks

Whether someone is going out for a meal or with friends, do not share food or drinks. The CDC states that “Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms.” People who do not display signs of COVID-19 can still be contagious. Avoid sharing food and drinks to decrease the chance of spreading it.

Clean surfaces when in public

Before using a surface, such as a table at a restaurant or bench at a park, it is crucial to keep the surfaces clean. Ensure the surface was wiped down before using it to prevent the risk of interacting with germs and potential areas that are contaminated with the virus.

Avoid large community events and gatherings

In many cases of a virus such as COVID-19 spreading, public gatherings and events may close down. Schools may close to prevent the risk of the virus spreading through children. Community centers, churches, movie theaters, and more may temporarily close. In the cases of colleges closing, some may have students work from home.

Place of employment may do the same thing, choosing to have employees complete work remotely and not come into the office.

Seek the Information You Need

When it comes to your health, it is crucial to seek information from a credible source. If you have any concerns about COVID-19, reach out to your medical professional for more information. While outside, exercise caution in interaction with other people and limit the amount of time you spend outside. It is important to note that protocol for dealing with COVID-19 and going outside may change in the coming weeks.

Review credible online sources and news stations for current updates. If you believe that you or a loved one has symptoms, contact your medical provider for instructions on treatment.

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