Cities and counties across the country are beginning to ease or even end the regulations that closed stores, restaurants, businesses, services, and schools back in March 2020.
According to healthinaging.org, adults 65 years and older and those with chronic health conditions are still at high risk for contracting COVID-19 and facing its most serious complications, including death.
If you have underlying medical conditions, particularly if they are not well controlled, the CDC suggests that it’s wise to continue to maintain the highest level of vigilance about going out and resuming your regular activities.
Some of the specific underlying health conditions noted by the Centers for Disease Control include:
• Chronic lung disease
• Moderate to severe asthma
• Serious heart conditions
• Being “immunocompromised”
People who are immunocompromised have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases.
Many things can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.
• Severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
• Chronic kidney disease and undergoing dialysis
• Liver disease
You can’t reduce your chances of contracting COVID-19 to zero.
But if you understand the risks and use proven prevention measures, you may be able to help reduce the spread of the virus.
KEEP IN MIND: If you have COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you must stay home and away from other people.
Talk to your healthcare provider about your specific precautions.
When you can leave home and see others depends on different factors for different situations.
Follow the CDC’s recommendations for your circumstances.
Here is the CDC’s science-based guidance for the best way to protect yourself as you begin to resume daily activities:
• Before you venture out, ask yourself: Will my activity put me in close contact with others?
• Practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from others). COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close physical contact with others.
• Stay home if sick.
• Use online services when available.
• Wear a cloth face covering when running errands.
• Use hand sanitizer after leaving stores.
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.
• Protect yourself while shopping.
• Order food and other items online for home delivery or curbside pickup (if possible).
• Only go to the grocery store, or other stores selling household essentials, in person when you absolutely need to. This will limit your potential exposure to others and the virus that causes COVID-19.
• Stay at least 6 feet away from others while shopping and in lines.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.
• When you do have to shop in person, go during the early morning or later at night when fewer people will be there.