Right now, staying home except for essential trips is working to limit the spread of COVID-19. The fewer interactions we have with people outside of our household, the fewer chances there will be to spread the virus. This is the easiest way to stop the virus, and we’ve seen that it works in Whatcom County.
But we can’t stay home forever. As we prepare for businesses to open and make plans to reunite with friends and family, here are a few things you should know that will help you stay healthy and reduce the chances that you may pass this illness on to others.
- Risks can be reduced, but they cannot be eliminated entirely. When you go out in public, there is a chance you’ll become infected and there’s a chance that you’ll infect others.
- Outside is better than inside. Being in an indoor setting with low ventilation allows the virus to spread more easily. Avoid busy places, especially if it’s indoors.
- Keep groups small and consistent. For social purposes, create a small and consistent group that does not mingle with others. Make sure you are each practicing healthy habits every day to reduce personal exposure.
- Maintain physical distancing. Continue to stay six feet away from others. Set up tables and chairs to be at least six feet apart from each other, and avoid spending time in one another’s homes.
- Wear a mask. Even if you aren’t feeling sick, there is evidence that COVID-19 is spread by people who do not have symptoms. Keeping your mask on reduces the chance of spreading the virus to others. Don’t infect others.
- Wash your hands frequently, or use hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your face or other surfaces.
- Bring your own plates, utensils and food. Avoid sharing food with people who don’t live with you.
- Clean and sanitize high touch surfaces like door knobs frequently.
- Keep a log of who you’ve seen and where you’ve been. If you do get sick or were in contact with someone who gets sick, having a record of other contacts helps prevent a few cases from becoming another serious outbreak.
- Understand the consequences. This is a serious illness that has killed a hundred thousand Americans already and has done incredible damage to our livelihoods. Do not underestimate its impact.
Healthcare and other essential workers do these things everyday to keep themselves and others safe. We should follow their examples. Much of what happens in the future is dependent upon our individual actions now. It’s hard to stay away from our friends and relatives, but that is the most effective way to save lives and to get people back to work. The more we stay home and limit contact with others, the sooner we will be able to move on in our recovery and fully reopen Whatcom County. This is a careful and delicate process. Thank you for doing your part.