Safety Tips for Getting Out During Re-Opening
June 18, 2020
At some point in the past couple of months you’ve probably searched online for answers to all kinds of questions about what is or is not safe during the pandemic. As South Carolina moves to re-open many businesses, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina pulled together some resources to help South Carolinians determine what is best for their families.
Because the number of new cases continues to climb in the state, which indicates many people are not adopting recommended protocols to prevent spreading the disease, it remains important to implement these safety tips. South Carolinians can make sure they are taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following recommendations from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control* (SC DHEC) and health care professionals.
How to stay safe
It is still a good idea to follow recommendations from the DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention* (CDC).
The best ways to stay safe and stop the spread of the coronavirus and other infectious diseases is to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from people outside your home.
Be sure to clean your hands after touching anything in public, especially items that may be touched by a lot of people, such as door handles, gas pumps or electronic cashier screens. Hand sanitizer should be at least 60 percent alcohol.
The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 2 wear a mask to cover his or her nose and mouth when in public. SC DHEC recommends wearing homemade masks and leaving manufactured masks for doctors, nurses and first responders who need them. For more on homemade masks, find resources here.
When wearing a mask, make sure it covers both your mouth and your nose and try not to touch it.
When going to any business, follow the individual business’ rules. For example, your hair salon may take your temperature at the door and require you to wear a mask.
Social distancing guidelines are especially important for individuals who may be at higher risk of COVID-19.
How to be social
The best way to keep from getting COVID-19 is to limit exposure to individuals outside your home. If you are going to spend time with others, wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart. Don’t gather in large crowds.
Avoid contact with people who are sick or show symptoms. If you think you might be sick, be sure to quarantine and follow these recommendations.
Experts recommend staying outside when you are around other people as the disease can travel easier inside. You can find more ideas for getting outside during the pandemic here.
Avoid public bathrooms by using your own before leaving home.
How to be prepared
As much as possible, be prepared to meet your own needs when heading out in public. Carry a water bottle so you don’t need to use water fountains. Carry hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes.
If you are going to a playground with children, try to wipe down any equipment before use.
If you’re venturing out to a park, carry a bag to collect your own trash.
If you plan to meet friends for an outdoor gathering, bring your own food, drinks, utensils and anything else you might need. Limiting what you share with others is the best way to prevent the spread of the disease.
Whether you’re planning a trip to the beach or an outdoor picnic in the park, remember coronavirus is still active in South Carolina. Take precautions and be safe.
*The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control are independent organizations that provide health information you may find useful.
This article contains links to third party sites. Those organizations are solely responsible for the contents and privacy policies of their sites.
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The COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ended May 11, 2023. The COVID-19 national emergency ended April 10, 2023. The standard terms of your health plan or policy now apply to any COVID-19 related services. Please review your schedule of benefits if you have any questions.