A woman holding a "we are open" sign in front of her store while wearing a face mask.
Healthy Living

5 Questions to Consider Before Going Out During COVID-19

Jun 25 2020
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While we are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, states throughout our country are starting to reopen with new guidelines in place. As we enter this new, semi-normal way of life, it is important to keep our safety and the safety of others top of mind.

Here are five questions the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would like everyone to ask themselves before going out during COVID-19.

Is there currently community spread of COVID-19 near me?

During this time, it is important to stay updated on the number of cases in your area. Are cases going down? Has there been a spike? Getting educated about what is going on in your community will help you assess your risk before partaking in any activities.

A great resource to check out is the CDC’s map of reported infections by state.

Am I at high risk for developing serious complications with COVID-19?

Data shows that people of any age with a preexisting medical condition as well as older adults are at a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. These individuals should be staying away from others as much as possible right now.

While everyone else is thought to be at low risk for serious illness, every single person is at risk for contracting and spreading COVID-19. Consider this information when making any plans.

Am I practicing actions to help stop the spread of COVID-19?

Practicing preventive actions every day is one of the best ways you can reduce your chances of getting COVID-19.

These steps include:

  • Monitoring your symptoms
  • Washing your hands often
  • Practicing social distancing
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
  • Wearing a cloth face covering
  • Not touching your face with unwashed hands

If you decide to engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself by practicing these everyday preventive actions while out and about.

If you are feeling sick or have been around someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should be staying home and quarantining.

Will public transportation need to be taken to get to the activity?

With public transit, ride-sharing services and even air travel, you are forced to be in close contact with others. When using transportation that doesn’t allow you to practice social distancing, be sure to practice all the other preventive actions listed above.

Is your travel taking you outside your community? If so, be sure to check the case numbers of the area you are traveling to. Also consider whether you are leaving an area that has a lot of COVID-19 cases. The CDC has lots of great information about traveling in the U.S. during this time.

If I become ill, am I prepared to miss work or school?

Before heading off to different activities, make sure you have your COVID-19 household plan in place. This includes gathering information about sick leave from work or school. You’ll want to be prepared if you do become ill with COVID-19 and need to stay home.

Another way you’ll need to prepare is by learning about the action steps to take if you get sick. This includes staying at home, isolating from others and communicating with your primary care provider.

During this time, do not leave the house without the following items:

  • A cloth face covering
  • Tissues
  • Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

There are more questions the CDC would like everyone to consider before going out. Read the full list on their website.

Stay updated on what Mercy Health is doing related to COVID-19.


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