As summer comes to a close, officials are desperate to find a way to avoid suspending commercial markets again come winter.
As far as our part is concerned, Ladders has compiled a list of ways to assess risk associated with different activities.
Broady, the best ways to defend ourselves against SARS-CoV-2 transmissions are wearing multiple layers of thick, tightly woven quilting cotton masks that covers our entire mouth and nose and maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others.
“You don’t want big gaps around the sides or the top or the bottom because the whole point is to keep small droplets coming out of your mouth or nose from reaching somebody else,” Dr. Scott Segal, chairman of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health explained in a release.
The Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force and Committee on Infectious Diseases devised a comprehensive chart ranking the riskiest establishments to attend during the pandemic:
Low Risk: 1
Opening the mail
Low Risk: 2
Getting restaurant takeout
Low-Moderate Risk: 3
Going for a walk, run, or bike ride with others
Low-Moderate Risk: 4
Staying at a hotel for two nights
Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room
Going to a library or museum
Eating in a restaurant (outside)
Walking in a busy downtown
Spending an hour at a playground
Moderate Risk: 5
Having dinner at someone else’s house
Attending a backyard barbecue
Going to a beach
Shopping at a mall
Moderate Risk: 6
Sending kids to school, camp, or day care
Working a week in an office building
Swimming in a public pool
Visiting an elderly relative or friend in their home
Moderate-High Risk: 7
Going to a hair salon or barbershop
Eating in a restaurant (inside)
Attending a wedding or funeral
Traveling by plane
Hugging or shaking hands when greeting a friend
High Risk: 8
Eating at a buffet
Working out at a gym
Going to an amusement park
Going to a movie theater
High Risk: 9
Attending a large music concert
Going to a sports stadium
Attending a religious service with 500-plus worshipers
Going to a bar
While grocery shopping, virologists recommend customers make sure to disinfect the handle of the shopping cart they’re using and bring along a paper list of items to purchase to avoid touching viral breeding grounds like cell phones
“If possible, limit visiting the grocery store, or other stores selling household essentials, in person. In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread,” The CDC reports. “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.”
Protect yourself when you are shopping from COVID-19
While shopping, the CDC recommends following the conditions below to reduce risk of transmission:
- Wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when social is distancing is difficult.
- If you are at higher risk for severe illness, find out if the store has special hours for people at higher risk. If they do, try to shop during those hours.
- If you normally bring your own reusable shopping bags, ensure they are cleaned before each use. Some locations have temporarily banned the use of reusable shopping bags during the COVID-19 pandemic, so check your state, local, store or market policies before bringing reusable bags.
- Disinfect the shopping cart, use disinfecting wipes if available.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others while shopping and in lines.
- Use marked entry or exit points and follow any directional signs or floor markings designed to keep people at least 6 feet apart.
- Only touch products that you plan to purchase, if possible.
- Consider not consuming any sample or purchase food or drink items from self-service stations.
- If possible, use touchless payment (pay without touching money, a card, or a keypad). If you must handle money, a card, or use a keypad, use hand sanitizer right after paying.
Even if they bring some kind of cleanser along with them, shoppers should abstain from touching their face until they arrive back home. This will greatly reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Before attending banking destinations the CDC recommends:
Using 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.
Look for any extra prevention practices being implemented by the bank, such as plexiglass barriers for tellers or bankers, staff wearing masks, or physical distancing signs in the lobby.
Wear a mask when doing any in-person exchanges and unable to stay at least 6 feet apart from other people – and make sure that bank employees and other people inside the bank are also wearing cloth face coverings.
Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol after any deposit, withdrawal, exchange, drive-thru visit, or use of an ATM.
Wash your hands thoroughly when you arrive home or to your destination where a restroom is available.
Some places are still too risky to frequent with the countermeasures index above in place. Bars are chief among these. Bar patrons will have a tougher time maintaining distance and abiding by policies established by health systems once alcohol is thrown into the mix.
“As soon as you consume alcohol, your inhibitions are lowered and you’re going to be less likely to observe all of these measures,” said Berggren. “It’s also tough to predict the behavior of other people who are consuming alcohol.”
To calculate discreet risks associated with specific locations, be sure to use the mathematical model designed by Jose-Luis Jimenez, who is a professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Colorado and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences.
First, find out the percentage of infected individuals in your population with the CDC’s weekly surveillance report.
Next, adjust population risk based on the protection offered by the type of mask being employed in a given area.
|0%: “For N95 masks that have an exhalation valve. Most of the air is exhausted through the valve, and there is little filtering”|
23%: “For face shields worn without a mask. This is a guess since the one study available is for inhalation, not for emission. But it makes sense that efficiency would be low, due to limited inertia of exhaled particles under normal breathing or talking.”
50%: “The default value for the general population, with a variety of types of masks (cloth, surgical) and also a variation on how well they are worn.”
65%: “Surgical masks from Milton”
90%: “For N95 masks (KN95, FF2). If well fitted and worn their efficiency for the large particles that most likely contain the viruses is 99% or more. However, we use a lower value for their use in the community in the real world, since most people are not fitted, and they are not worn perfectly and can have leaks. 90% may even be optimistic in that situation.”
After you’ve determined the effectiveness of your masks, enter the number of times you’ll be entering the space you’re assessing, the square feet of space per person, and lastly the effectiveness of the masks worn by other parties in the space.
The fact of the matter is the only sure-fire way to avoid contracting COVID-19 is by sheltering in place. However, many of us simply can’t afford to be immobile indefinitely.
Recently, medical experts, Dr. Eudene Harry supplied Ladders with a list of things to keep in mind while traveling during the pandemic,especially if your office intends on reopening in the near future.
- Wipe down surfaces that are frequently touched by many people with a sanitizing wipe
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Use hand sanitizers that contain at least 60 to 90% alcohol when soap and water is not readily available
- Consider a high-grade HEPA filter for your office. These can remove small particles from the air and, some filters are treated to kill viruses that are filtered through
- If your commute involves close contact in a crowded environment like a subway, avoiding close contact with others who may appear sick can be difficult. Ideally, keeping at least a 6 feet radius from someone who appears to have respiratory symptoms would decrease the risk of infection.