How to Stay Safe From COVID-19 When You Leave Your Home

It's smart to be cautious.

Here are five of the most important precautionary steps that you can take to stay healthy when you go out in public.

1-Continue to keep your distance.

Even if you begin to venture outside your home, continue to keep your distance from others. The CDC recommends keeping six feet between yourself and any other individual. That's because close contact with an infected person can put you within reach of infected respiratory droplets, which can harbor the virus.

2-Stay vigilant about handwashing.

Every time you go out, you run the risk of exposure to the virus via contact with an infected person or a contaminated surface. Handwashing is highly effective at killing the virus, and frequent handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent infection. As a best practice, make it a habit to wash your hands as soon as you return home. Until then, consider carrying hand sanitizer with you and avoid touching your face as much as possible.

3-Wear a cloth face cover in public.

Wearing a cloth face cover may minimize the spread of respiratory droplets from people infected with COVID-19. To be effective, it's crucial that a face cloth fully covers your mouth and nose. You should also wash your cloth face cover after each use. The cloth face cover is to protect other people in case you are infected. It's also important not to let a face-covering give you a false sense of security. Even if everyone in your group is wearing masks, you should still maintain a safe distance of six feet between each person.

4-Try to avoid crowds.

If you must go out, stay away from crowded areas that would make it difficult to maintain an acceptable social distance. For example, the CDC recommends avoiding crowded parks and staying away from playgrounds entirely. They also recommend avoiding gatherings of any sort, including at restaurants, shops and friends' houses.

5-Know what symptoms to look out for.

Catching symptoms of COVID-19 early is critical to ensure that you get tested and pursue any appropriate treatment in a timely fashion. It's also one of the most important ways to make sure that you prevent further spread of the disease. Monitor your own health and be alert for potential COVID symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal symptoms and prior exposure to someone with the illness.