States have been easing restrictions and allowing some businesses to reopen, but the coronavirus remains a threat. Whether you should go to a business that has reopened is a personal decision. Consider your age, overall health, pre-existing conditions, the health of the people you live with, how important it is that you take part in an activity and whether you can put it off for a while. If you venture out, here are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Precautions to Take if You Patronize a Local Business
Regardless of what type of business you go to, stay at least six feet away from other people who are not in your party as much as possible and wear a mask if you can’t maintain social distancing guidelines. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
Businesses should limit the number of customers allowed in at any one time. If a business is crowded, or if the area where you are is filling up with too many people, move to another area or leave.
Eating at a restaurant may be safe if tables are spread out and employees wear masks. You should wear a mask too, but you will obviously have to remove it to eat. If outdoor seating is available, being in open air would be safer than being indoors. If you have a higher-than-average risk of contracting COVID-19, be especially cautious or get takeout or delivery instead.
A movie theater or performing arts venue may be safe if audience members are spread out and wear masks, but you should avoid crowded, enclosed areas. A drive-in movie theater or an outdoor performance venue would be a safer alternative.
Getting a haircut can pose challenges. You won’t be able to maintain social distancing while getting your haircut, but you should stay at least six feet away from other employees and customers. You and the person cutting your hair should both wear masks, but you may have to remove yours at some point.
Dentists and other healthcare providers are taking precautions, in addition to their normal infection-control procedures, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. If you need emergency dental care, you should go to the dentist, as delaying treatment could allow the problem to get worse. You might decide to reschedule a routine appointment if you are concerned about possibly contracting COVID-19.
What to Do if Your Employer is Reopening
If your workplace is reopening, your employer should have provided specific guidelines on how that will be done safely. You and your coworkers should be able to maintain social distancing or have barriers to protect you. If you have a medical condition that makes you more susceptible to the coronavirus, or if you live with someone who does, talk to your employer about whether you should return to the workplace or continue to work from home.