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As more businesses and workplaces reopen in midst of the coronavirus pandemic, you are probably wondering what are things that may be safe to do and what activities should be avoided.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Ravina Kullar weighs in on some common concerns related to COVID-19 and safety. The Doctors stress the pandemic is still ongoing and engaging with other people can put you at risk, but these suggestions may help to minizine the possibility of contracting the virus. "This virus is going to be around for a very long time," Dr. Kullar warns, noting most of the large outbreaks have been related to large crowds in indoor settings, two things she says to avoid.
Restaurants: Should You Go or Should You Avoid?
She says if you decided to eat out that it is safer to sit outside, noting that the virus can easily circulate around in an indoor setting. If you are outside, there is a lower probability of coming into contact with the virus. She also stresses that outdoor dining needs 6 feet of social distancing between tables and servers and staff need to be wearing a face mask or shield. The infectious disease expert also says to make sure all the tables, seats, and any areas that are being touched are cleaned in between patrons.
Gyms: Should You Workout Again Indoors?
"If you do go to the gym, make sure correct procedures are in place," she says, noting gym equipment should be socially distanced, equipment and machines should be sanitized after each use and masks should be worn. One area of concern she has regarding the gym is taking a class, as they are usually in small enclosed rooms. She recommends not taking a class at this time.
Pools and the Beach: Is It Safe?
She says these activities can be safe, but only if you are socially distancing and wearing your mask when needed. She cites examples of people being packed into public pools and crowded beaches, and while this is occurring outside, it is still considered risky if you are coming into contact with large groups while not taking proper prevention precautions.
Hiking and the Park: What to Consider
She says this is generally a safe activity but stresses you should avoid hiking on a crowded trail or going to a park that is filled with large groups of people. She also says wearing a mask while outdoors and keeping 6 feet away from others is vital while partaking in outdoor activities like hiking.
Things to always do regardless of where you are or what you are doing, according to Dr. Kullar: wear a face mask or shield, social distance by at least 6 feet from people who are not in your household, and follow all virus prevention procedures.
As always, The Doctors stress the importance of continuing to follow all prevention guidelines: social distancing, routine and frequent handwashing, wearing a mask when in public, the cleaning of high touch surfaces, avoiding people who are sick, and if you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you have been exposed, contact your doctor or healthcare provider about getting tested. Find out more information about local COVID-19 testing in your area, including free testing.