While celebrations for the Fourth of July are undoubtedly different this year, you can still have a spectacular time while following safety recommendations and taking precautions.
While Illinois and the city of Chicago have slowed the rate of coronavirus transmission, the virus is far from over.
Health officials at the Rush University Medical Center released the following recommendations to help families stay safe this weekend:
Remember to Keep Your Distance
Remember that keeping six feet of distance between yourself and anyone who doesn’t live with you is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, Rush experts said in a news release. This distance is how far most droplets containing the COVID-19 virus can travel before hitting the ground if someone is talking or sneezes, and maintaining it protects you from inhaling those droplets.
This precaution is especially important if you are indoors, but it’s important to maintain it outside, too. It’s also crucial if you’re around people whom you’re not sure have been properly protecting themselves.
Don't Forget Your Face Mask
When you can’t keep six feet away from others, be sure to wear a face mask. “Masks are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19,” says Alex Tomich, DNP, RN, associate vice president, regulatory and clinical effectiveness, who oversees Rush’s infection control department. “There has always been evidence that masks deter viral transmission.”
When out to eat or grab a drink on a patio, remember to keep your mask on until you get to your table, and if possible don’t take it off until after ordering from your server.
Don’t let up on hand-washing
Whether you are going out to eat or stopping by a friend’s home this holiday weekend, meticulous hand-washing is still one of your greatest protectors against COVID-19. While you may be tired of singing hand-washing songs and washing more than usual, hand hygiene is vital to getting rid of COVID-19 and other germs or bacteria that may be on your skin. Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer whenever possible while you are out of the house and when you get back home will add a layer of defense against COVID-19.
What about travel?
If you July 4 plans include travel, make sure you know what precautions are needed. Both flying and driving come with their own set of risks for infection and transmission.
Lisa Rosman, MD, a family physician at Rush University Medical Center, provided the latest information about travel so you can make informed decisions about any potential trips.
Rosman highlighted issues with flying, such as prolonged waiting time in airports, and precautions you should take while in an airport. They include wiping down surfaces and making sure the airline you are flying with is doing temperature checks.
Like years past, health officials want to remind people to practice fireworks safety and to stay hydrated.