While health experts are confident that the COVID-19vaccine will help to achieve herd immunity in the next year, protecting yourself and others from infection is still just as crucial. During Wednesday’s White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discussed all of the recommended prevention methods to keep COVID at bay. Read on to find out what they are-and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
Wear a Mask-Using the New Guidelines That Just Came Out
Dr. Walensky spent a good amount of time emphasizing the importance of not only wearing a mask, but wearing it correctly. "Everyone needs to be wearing a mask when they are in public or when they are in their own home but with people who do not live in their household," Dr. Walensky explained. "This is especially true with our ongoing concern about new variants spreading in the United States." The CDC continues to recommend that "masks should have two or more layers, completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against your nose and the size of your face," she stated. However, the health organization updated their recommendations on how to improve mask fit. "This includes wearing a mask with a moldable nose wire, knotting the ear loops on your mask or wearing a cloth mask over a procedure or disposable mask."
Socially Distance From Others
"Stay six feet apart from other people you don’t live with," Dr. Walensky stated. Why? "COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period," the CDC explains. "Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs."
The more people and the smaller the space, the greater the chance of transmission. "Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters put you at higher risk for COVID-19," the CDC points out. Additionally, they recommend avoiding indoor spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors as much as possible. "If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible."
Dr. Walensky and the CDC continue to discourage non-essential travel. "Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19," they explain on their website. "CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19."
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Practice Hand Hygiene
"Wash your hands often," advises Dr. Walensky. The CDCrecommends using soap and water and scrubbing hands for at least 60 seconds. They add that while washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations, "If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizerthat contains at least 60% alcohol."
Do Your Part in Ending the Pandemic
So follow the CDC’s fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live-wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.