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How Do I Stay Safe Out There?

Can I Safely Socialize?

The virus hasn’t changed and person-to-person spread is still the primary way the virus is transmitted. The safest way to socialize is remotely, through audio/video conferencing. If you decide to socialize in-person, it’s safest to do so outdoors while observing social distancing of 6 feet between others, wear face coverings, and wash or disinfect hands. It can be challenging for friends and family to agree upon proper precautions. Some recommendations include: Get informed about how to prevent spreading the virus. Get clear on your boundaries and communicate them to friends and loved ones. Ask friends and loved ones about their boundaries. It’s okay to say ‘no.’ Understand and be sympathetic to emotions and high stress during the pandemic, both yours and others. Reevaluate your boundaries when new information comes in.

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How To Safely Protest & Vote

At the height of the global pandemic, people in the US and around the world are gathering to protest trenchant, systemic racism that is disproportionately killing people of color. From police brutality to social determinants of health inequalities amplified by COVID-19, the twin crises have implications on each other. The good news is that the virus does not spread as easily outdoors during daylight, but it is still important to maintain social distancing guidelines whenever possible. Acknowledging the challenge in following infectious disease safety protocols in the middle of heavily populated protests, the WHO asks that protesters keep a minimum of 3.3 feet of distance from others. Wearing a face mask and shatter-resistant swimming goggles can help protect against the virus and chemical agents. Bring and use hand sanitizer as disinfectant.

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How Can I Keep Myself & My Family Safe?

To best protect yourself, your family and others, observe social distancing guidelines and wear a face mask when you leave your home. In outdoor environments, your chance of getting the virus is low, provided you practice social distancing. When returning home, you do not need to immediately launder clothes, shower or wash your hair, unless you’ve been in close contact with a sick person, or if someone coughed or sneezed near you. It is not recommended that you waste cleaning products cleaning the bottoms of your shoes. Instead, consider leaving them outside the front door.

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How Can I Keep My Co-Workers Safe?

The most important measure is to stay at home and self-isolate if you have a cough or fever. Do not go to work, as you risk spreading the virus. If you have difficulty smelling or tasting, consult your healthcare provider about self-quarantining and staying home from work. It’s important to note that if you can still smell and taste, this does not mean you are not infected. If you are healthy and are required to return to work, keep at least 6 feet of space between yourself and others whenever possible. Wear a face covering whenever possible, wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water, and keep hand sanitizer nearby for you and anyone stopping by your office. Use disinfectants to regularly wipe down high touch surfaces and objects such as desks, counters, keyboards, and phones. If you need to cough, cough into your elbow, and not into your hands.

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How Should My Employer Keep Me Safe?

Workplace safety laws require that workplaces are free from hazards that are likely to cause death or serious harm. While there are no specific regulations in place for COVID-19 or airborne viruses, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suggests that employers: Provide personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and masks, to all workers who risk exposure to the virus. Promote handwashing, respiratory etiquette, social distancing, wearing face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), and telecommuting when possible, along with arranging regular cleaning at the workplace and discouraging workers from using one another’s phones, desks, or equipment. Identify and isolate sick employees, and send them home. Improve air filtration and ventilation, and install physical barriers such as sneeze guards to prevent infection.

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