Virus Expert Says "Don't Go Here" For Next Three Weeks
The U.S. is feeling the wrath of the latest COVID surge, in part thanks to Omicron. Hospitals, schools and airlines are experiencing staff shortages due to employees coming down with sickness and emergency rooms are overwhelmed with COVID patients. While the surge continues, experts warn to take precautions and not go to certain places in an effort to help stay healthy. Eat This, Not That! Health talked to Erica Susky, an Infection Control Practitioner (ICP) in hospital epidemiology, who suggested avoiding the following places. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
According to Susky, an Infection Control Practitioner (ICP) in hospital epidemiology, "As a rule, places with larger groups of people where people are not wearing masks for any period of time and ventilation is poor increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Masks serve as a source control meaning if someone has COVID-19 they are less likely to spread it to others when they are wearing a mask. Better ventilation and air exchanges would reduce the number of viral particles or aerosols in the air. Finally, smaller groups of people mean a smaller chance of being around another who may have COVID-19."
Susky says, "If large events have not ceased due to a COVID-19 surge in one's area, they should be avoided. This would be sporting events, movies, concerts and anything with large groups of people congregating from different households. If restaurants cannot maintain adequate social distancing between dinners and are in small areas (where ventilation is likely poorer), they should be avoided as well when COVID-19 numbers are high."
Stick to Zoom calls and FaceTime instead of in person time with family outside of your household, Susky states. "Family gatherings and parties should be avoided, if possible, particularly if there are larger groups (think of the risk of a family gathering of 25 people versus an intimate gathering of 10 or less people). Larger parties with several households are risky for the fact that people may eat and drink; any time masks are removed indoors is a high risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission."
Get your workout on at home and not the gym, Susky says. "Gyms are high risk activities especially notable to avoid during COVID-19 surges. People in gyms are often exerting themselves, which will produce more aerosols and will often not wear their masks during exercise/exertion. Putting these two together make the activity especially risky for a COVID-19 exposure or dispersion of viral particles."
Don't get on a plane–stay home or road trip it. Susky explains, "Airplanes are high risk as there are many people who cannot be socially distanced in a tight space for a larger duration of time, and people will often remove their masks intermittently as food and drink are served during flights."
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, 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.