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Stop Doing This Immediately, CDC Warns

“The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts,” says the CDC.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Two young female friends chatting over coffee in cafe.

With more than 400,000 Americans dead from coronavirus, now is the time, more than ever, to be careful you don't catch, or spread, COVID-19. "By the middle of February, we expect half a million deaths in this country. That doesn't speak to the tens of thousands of people who are living with a yet uncharacterized syndrome after they've recovered," said incoming Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) head Rochelle Walensky on CBS' Face the Nation. "I think we still have some dark weeks ahead." Read on to see what the CDC says to stop doing immediately—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

1

Avoid Gatherings Immediately

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"A gathering refers to a planned or spontaneous event, indoors or outdoors, with a small number of people participating or a large number of people in attendance such as a community event or gathering, concert, festival, conference, parade, wedding, or sporting event," says the CDC. "The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading." Their bottom line: "Avoid gatherings. The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering."

2

Stop Standing Close to People Even if They Have a Mask On

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"Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don't live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain," says the CDC. "Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing."

3

Stop Thinking People Without Symptoms Are Healthy

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The CDC has found that over half of COVID infections are believed to be transmitted asymptomatically—that is, by people who seem healthy, with no symptoms, but carry the infection and give it to you. Because so many with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, you must assume anyone could be infected. Even those who have been vaccinated can carry their disease. "Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus," warns the CDC.

4

Don't Wear Your Mask Wrong

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The CDC advises you do not choose masks that:

  • "Are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, for example, vinyl
  • Have exhalation valves or vents which allow virus particles to escape
  • Are intended for healthcare workers, including N95 respirators or surgical masks

Do choose masks that:

  • Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
  • Completely cover your nose and mouth
  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don't have gaps."

5

Don't Forget to Get Retested

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If you took a COVID-19 test and it came up negative—but you're still experiencing symptoms, be concerned. "People who take an antigen test that comes back negative should get retested if they have symptoms," says the CDC.

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

6

How to Survive this Pandemic

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"Everyone, regardless of COVID-19 test results, should keep wearing masks, avoiding gatherings, & staying at least 6 feet from others," says the CDC simply. So do so—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.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more
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