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Safely visiting friends and family

Safely visiting friends and family

“It’s easy to focus on all the things we’re missing out on right now – end of school, holiday celebrations, summer camps, poolside relaxation, fireworks and fairs,” David Chan, MD, medical director of Pediatrics. “The list of cancellations continues to grow as communities take steps to keep people safe this summer. But what isn’t canceled is creativity, kindness and time with each other.” 

While there’s simply no way to prevent any risk of infection, you can take some simple steps to protect yourself and others.

Carle infectious diseases provider Tony Varma, DO, said the closer and longer you interact with people is what poses the most risk.

Although the phrase “global pandemic” is anything but comforting, families can choose to use this unique time to slow down and cherish some special moments with those closest to them. Current guidance encourages people to maintain groups smaller than 10 for gatherings.

“Keep your group small, make sure no one has fever or symptoms and continue to follow best practices of hand washing, wearing a mask during conversations and keeping appropriate distance to minimize the potential spread of germs,” Dr. Varma said.

He cautions you don’t have to discount or ignore others in your life but perhaps seek new ways to engage with them. 

“There are lots of free and easy technology solutions to stay connected virtually. It’s a great time to reconnect with people further away too,” Dr. Chan said. 

Both recommend following Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance for activities such as going to the bank, shopping for essentials, hosting a small cookout, using fitness centers, visiting nail salons, utilizing local libraries and overnight traveling. 

Before you go

  • Older adults and people who have underlying medical conditions might be a higher risk of illness.
  • Do you live with someone who’s at risk?
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms of illness
  • Wash your hands often
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces 

While you’re together

  • Practice social distancing
  • Wear a face covering when it’s difficult to stay 6 feet away from others
  • Look for visual reminders (chair, markings on the floor, etc.) to keep your distance
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Limit sharing of items like utensils or serving dishes

After your visit

  • Wash your hands
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces 
  • Monitor your health – be alert for symptoms of COVID-19

Categories: Staying Healthy

Tags: COVID-19, health, pediatrics, safety