As we all navigate reopening amid the pandemic, mingling may be on your mind — especially with a long weekend coming. But if you’re thinking about going to a barbecue or other gathering, what should you keep in mind?
Know the risks
No public gathering is risk-free during the coronavirus pandemic. When deciding whether to attend a social activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you may want to consider the following:
Group size. The larger the gathering, the greater the potential risk.
Location. It’s safer to gather outdoors because maintaining social distancing is easier and the ventilation is better. Also, staying within your community, with other people from the same area, is less risky than traveling.
How you’ll get there. It can be difficult to safely distance on public transportation. So favor other ways of getting to your event, like walking, biking or driving with your immediate family.
How long the gathering will last. The more time you spend around others, the greater the risk.
Your risk for severe COVID-19 complications. If you or someone you live with is older or has underlying health problems, gathering could be especially risky.
If you decide to attend or host a gathering, take steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus:
If you’re sick, stay home. It’s important to avoid crowds if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have had close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
Be in the know. efore you go, ask what COVID-19 precautions the hosts will take.
Meet outdoors, such as in a park. If you must gather indoors, open a window and follow other COVID-19 prevention practices.
Make room for social distancing. Arrange tables, chairs or other furniture so it’s easier to stay 6 feet apart.
Wear a cloth face mask. And remind everyone attending to bring theirs. Remember: You can be sick without symptoms. Wearing a mask helps protect the people you’re with, but it’s not a substitute for physical distancing.
Offer activities that allow for social distancing. Think Frisbee, catch or sidewalk chalk art. And resist the urge to exchange handshakes or hugs.
Clean your hands often.
Learn more ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and other information about COVID-19, at henrymayo.com/community/coronavirus/
Patrick Moody is the director of marketing and public relations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. For more information about local community health programs, visit HenryMayo.com.