CDC Says Don't Go Here Even if It's Open
Despite coronavirus cases trending down, "we have yet to control this pandemic," Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said last week. "We still have this emergence threat of variants." These variants have been proven to be more transmissible and, in some cases, more lethal than previous strains. That's why the CDC is issuing new warnings about where it's safe to go—and which places have the most risk. Read on to see where you should be careful before entering—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
The CDC Says Avoid Going Into Banks
"Bank online whenever possible," advises the CDC. "Ask about options for telephone or virtual meetings to use banking services. Use drive-thru banking services, automated teller machines (ATM), or mobile banking apps for routine transactions that do not require face-to-face assistance as much as possible."
The CDC Warns Against Grocery Shopping in Person
"If possible, limit visiting the grocery store, or other stores selling household essentials, in person," says the CDC. "In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread." So: "Order groceries and other items online for home delivery or curbside pickup (if possible) or check with your local grocery store to see if pre-order or drive-up options are available." And: "Avoid shopping if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, which include a fever, cough, or shortness of breath."
The CDC Chief Says Do Not Travel Right Now
"Now is not the time to be traveling," Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing. "First and foremost, I would encourage people not to travel," she said. "CDC recommends that nonessential travel be avoided; however, for those who must travel, additional measures are being put in place to help prevent the spread of the virus," Walensky added. "Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely and consistently used by all people in public settings."
The CDC Says Be Careful in Restaurants
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, won't eat in indoor restaurants; he orders delivery instead. The CDC, rather than issuing a blanket statement prohibiting dining, has ranked the experiences based on high to low risk. Lowest risk are: "Food service limited to drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curb-side pick up." Higher risk is: "On-site dining with indoor seating capacity reduced to allow tables to be spaced at least 6 feet apart. And/or on-site dining with outdoor seating, but tables not spaced at least six feet apart." Highest risk is: "On-site dining with indoor seating. Seating capacity not reduced and tables not spaced at least 6 feet apart."
The CDC Says to Avoid Crowds of All Kinds
"The best way to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is to limit your interactions with other people as much as possible and take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 when you do interact with others," says the CDC. "In general, the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19." Among those measures, besides a face mask and hand hygiene and social distancing: "Avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19."
How to Stay Healthy During This Pandemic
So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.