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As the economy begins to reopen you can take steps to reduce your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. It’s always safest to stay home, but if you choose to spend time with people outside your household it’s important to consider the risks.
The risk of an activity depends on many factors, such as:
- Is COVID-19 spreading in your community?
- Will you have a potential close contact with someone who is sick or anyone who is not wearing a mask?
- Are you at increased risk of more severe illness if you become infected?
- Do you take everyday actions to protect yourself from COVID-19?
Some are more at risk than others:
Every time you meet with others, you increase your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Consider the risk to yourself, the people you live with, and the people you will see. When you choose to spend time with those outside your household, it’s important to consider the risk of exposure for yourself and others.
- Older adults and people with pre-existing health conditions are most in danger if they get COVID-19. The safest way to meet with them is over the phone or video.
- If you live with older adults or someone with certain underlying medical conditions, then you and all household members should take extra precautions to minimize risk.
- If you feel sick, stay home. Know the steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick.
- People can spread COVID-19 without knowing they are contagious. Protect others by getting tested. Find a testing site in your area.
When you decide to go out:
In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. When you leave the home, continue to practice keeping a 6-foot distance from others, wear a mask, avoid touching your face, and wash/sanitize your hands regularly.
If possible, keep these items on hand when leaving the home:
- A mask
- Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
Plan to see people safely:
Make a plan with your household and the people you are going to see before leaving your house. Consider creating a “social bubble" and gather outdoors only. A social bubble is a stable group of no more than 12 individuals, who may attend outdoor social or other events together.
What makes activities safer:
While you cannot completely eliminate the risk of catching COVID-19, you can take steps to have safer interactions with others.
- Maintain at least a 6 feet distance between you and others, COVID-19 spreads more easily between people who are within 6 feet of each other.
- Meet others outdoors, like in parks or open-air facilities. Indoor spaces with less ventilation where it might be harder to keep people apart is riskier.
- Wear a mask, interacting with others without wearing a mask increases your risk.
- Minimize gestures that promote close contact such as shaking hands, elbow bumps, or giving hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet each other.
- Limit sharing items with others and disinfect between uses. For example, if you’re hosting a picnic encourage guests to bring their own food, drinks, and utensils.