COVID-19: Understand the potential risks of going out

December 3rd, 2020 | Keller Corner
With the holiday season comes holiday shopping, dinners, events, etc. While COVID-19 has restricted most of your movement, you may be looking for ways to resume some type of holiday activities as safely as possible. While there is no way to ensure zero risk of infection, it is important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different types of prevention measures to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. (Above) The graphic above lists the low, medium and high potential COVID-19 risks from activities that people participate in. If you must go out, Keller Army Community Hospital and West Point Public Health suggests you remain vigilant with our proven nonpharmaceutical interventions. Courtesy Graphic
 
 
   

By Keller Army Community Hospital

With the holiday season comes holiday shopping, dinners, events, etc. While COVID-19 has restricted most of your movement, you may be looking for ways to resume some type of holiday activities as safely as possible.
While there is no way to ensure zero risk of infection, it is important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different types of prevention measures to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
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 (and may be asymptomatic)?
• Are you at increased risk of severe illness?
• Do you take everyday actions to protect yourself from COVID-19?
If you must go out, it is important for you to consider your own personal situation and the risk for you, your family and your community before venturing out.
In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. So, think about:
(A.) How many people will you interact with?
• Interacting with more people raises your risk.
• Being in a group with people who aren’t social distancing or wearing masks increases your risk.
• Engaging with new people (e.g., those who don’t live with you) also raises your risk.
• Some people have the virus and don’t have any symptoms, and it is not yet known how often people without symptoms can transmit the virus to others.
(B.) Can you keep six feet of space between you and others? Will you be outdoors or indoors?
• The closer you are to other people who may be infected, the greater your risk of getting sick.
• Keeping distance from other people is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with underlying medical conditions.
• Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation.
(C.) What’s the length of time that you will be interacting with people?
• Spending more time with people who may be infected increases your risk of becoming infected.
• Spending more time with people increases their risk of becoming infected if there is any chance that you may already be infected.
If you must go out, the CDC says activities are safer if:
• You can maintain at least six feet of space between you and others. COVID-19 spreads easier between people who are within six feet of each other.
• They are held in outdoor spaces. Indoor spaces with less ventilation where it might be harder to keep people apart are more risky.
• People are wearing masks. Interacting without wearing masks also increases your risk.
If you must go out, Keller Army Community Hospital and West Point Public Health suggests you remain vigilant with our proven nonpharmaceutical interventions, which include “properly” wearing a mask at all times and frequent hand-washing or use of hand sanitizer.