The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated guidance on Friday for the public on how to stay safe during the spread of the coronavirus.
Even though the CDC is no longer encouraging a prohibition of gatherings of more than 250 people, the agency says that the more people who attend an event, the greater the risk.
The CDC says that large in-person gatherings where it is difficult to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart with attendees who travel from outside the local area are among the highest risk gatherings for the spread of the virus.
“The most important things are some of those issues related to being able to maintain social distancing, having access to hand hygiene, encouraging face coverings, and, of course, not attending events if you are ill or have recently been exposed to COVID-19,” CDC incident manager Dr. Jay Butler said.
The agency continues to recommend keeping six feet apart from others in nearly all public settings and wearing a face covering.
The CDC says before you go out in public, you should ask these questions.
· Is COVID-19 is spreading in your community?
· Will you have a potential close contact with someone who is sick or anyone who is not wearing a face covering (and may be asymptomatic)?
· Are you at increased risk of severe illness?
· Do you take everyday actions to protect yourself from COVID-19?
While the guidelines allow Americans to resume some sense of normalcy, the CDC warns the pandemic is still spreading among us.
“The bad news today is the pandemic is not over, and it’s important to recognize that,” Butler said. “While COVID-19 is still making headlines everywhere, we know that the pandemic hasn’t affected everyone everywhere in the same way. The good news is nationally we have been successful in flattening the curve. The number of new cases each day has been relatively plateaued over a prolonged period of time.”
The CDC’s updated guidance includes recommendations for visiting the bank, dining at a restaurant, hosting gatherings, going to gyms, going to salons, traveling and visiting the library. The themes are consistent: Stay home if exposed to the virus, stay six feet apart from others outside your home, and wear a face covering while in public. The guidance also tells Americans to avoid sharing objects, such as utensils at a restaurant or equipment at a gym, that can’t be sanitized between uses.
To see the new guidelines, click here.