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How to Stay Safe During the Bay Area COVID-19 Reopening

For two months, we’ve been keeping our distance at home. Now, summer’s almost here and we’re itching to get out and enjoy it. But is it safe?

Some Bay Area counties are operating under the original stay-at-home order for a bit longer. However, several other California counties eased their restrictions and moved into the beginning of Stage 2 — which allows additional businesses to open. With these openings, come more opportunities to get out and do the things we’ve been missing — like shopping, dining out and even just joining our co-workers back in the office. After so much time apart, it’s tempting to jump back to ‘business as usual,’ but health experts are warning that the virus is still out there and we all need to continue taking precautions to reduce the risk of another spike in cases.

8 Tips for Safely Navigating Your Way Through Reopening

So, how do we go on with our lives and still protect our health? Below are eight tips to help you stay safe as we return to life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Understand That This Is NOT an ‘All-Clear’

While it’s exciting to get out of the house, it’s important to remember that we’re still in the midst of a pandemic. The more people and places you’re exposed to, the greater your risk for contracting or spreading the virus. Choosing to stay home is still the safest option. So, continue to utilize delivery services, curb-side pickup and work-from-home opportunities as much as you can.

2. Stick with Your Tribe

As much as we miss our friends, we’re not quite to the point of being able to safely visit them. Health experts are asking that we stick with social distancing for a while longer. Ultimately, we should aim to stay at least 6 feet away from anyone outside of our household.

3. Don’t Forget the Basics

Now’s not the time to ditch the preventive habits we’ve developed over the past couple months. It’s still imperative to:

  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not from your immediate household.
  • Wear a mask when you go out.
  • Wash your hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds) and use sanitizer when you don’t have access to a sink.
  • Resist touching your face, especially while you’re out.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow.

4. Stay Home If You’re Sick or at High Risk

If you have a fever or other COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and away from others. If you’re over the age of 65, or have serious medical conditions, it’s recommended that you stay home until Stage 4, which marks the end of the stay-at-home order.

5. Remember Germs Can Spread Outdoors, Too

Spending some time outdoors is essential to your well-being. It’s OK to go out for some fresh air and sunshine, but don’t get fooled into thinking you can’t be exposed to the virus while you’re out there. Remember to keep your distance and avoid crowded areas like busy parking lots and packed walking trails.

6. Cooperate with Efforts to Promote Safety

Businesses have been given specific mandates to help maintain safety for their workers and customers, including screening workers for symptoms of COVID-19, stringent cleaning procedures and enforcing safe physical distancing. Some businesses are implementing additional measures to further ensure safety for everyone. Please join them in these efforts, and don’t be shy about calling ahead to ask about what a particular business is doing to help protect you.

7. Keep Close to Home

Summer is typically a time for travel, but this year is different. Experts are asking that we don’t stray too far from home. Globally, we’re working to contain the virus, and traveling could cause COVID-19 to spread to other communities.

8. Stay Informed

Since March 19, 2020, California has been under a stay-at-home order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. This order is being continually modified based on the spread of the disease. It’s important to stay on top of the latest guidelines for the Bay Area so that you know what is currently open and what the recommendations are to help you stay safe and healthy. Each county may be implementing slightly different orders and recommendations, so be sure to regularly check the details for your county.

For more information and guidelines specific to the state of California, visit the California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response and the California Department of Public Health websites.

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